George Best's agent and families of Omagh victims believe they were hacked by NOTW

The scene of the aftermath of the Omagh bomb in 1998

Two families who lost their relatives in the Omagh attack believe their phones may have been hacked by the News of the World, according to the

Meanwhile, Phil Hughes, the agent for soccer legend George Best from Northern Ireland, says he is convinced that as his client lay dying of liver failure in 2005  that the NOTW hacked the agent's phone to find out where he was being treated.

"Somehow the News of the World always seemed to understand who was visiting and would always have photographers there," said Gerald Shamash, Hughes's solicitor, told The Observer newspaper.

"Phil is convinced his phone was substantively hacked by the News of the World. The situation became very difficult, particularly in the latter months of George's life. It was very upsetting for both of them.


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Victor Barker, whose son James died it the Omagh attack, and Michael Gallagher, whose son Aidan was also killed in the bombing, are the latest names to emerge in the hacking scandal.

Twenty-nine people and two unborn twins were killed after a bomb ripped through the Co Tyrone market town in August 1998.

Barker told the Belfast Telegraph that he has contacted the Metropolitan Police to determine if his  phone has been interfered with.

"Some years ago when I was operating from my office in Surrey, we had a lot of problems not only with my office phone but with my mobile," he said.

"I thought at the time that, because I was making a lot of phone calls to Martin McGuinness, it might have been the security services listening in."

He added: "I have asked the Metropolitan Police whether they think my phone was being hacked as well, and I've yet to receive an answer."

Gallagher said he also had concerns that his phone had been compromised.

"It has crossed my mind," he said.

"There is anxiety there, there are doubts when you learn that these people can intercept your phone calls or your messages."

At this time,  Metropolitan Police have refused to comment on individuals who may have been hacked.

The Guardian reports that the phone hacking victims could number 4,000.