Niall O'Dowd: Justice at last for Omagh Real IRA victims: Click here
Omagh bombing photo gallery: Click here
Victory and justice for the families of the Omagh bomb victims has been served today after they won an historic multi-million dollar civil action suit against four men responsible for the worst atrocity during the Troubles.
Real IRA leader Michael McKevitt, Liam Campbell, Colm Murphy and Seamus Daly were found guilty in the £14 million ($22 million) case at Belfast High Court, while the Real IRA as an organization was found liable for the 1998 terrorist attack in which 31 people, including a woman pregnant with twins, perished.
The case was opened last April when the relatives of the victims of the paramilitary car bomb attack in Omagh, County Tyrone, sued the Real IRA and five men they deemed responsible. The families launched the lawsuit after police failed to secure a criminal conviction over the bombing.
The only person that faced criminal charges, Sean Hoey, 38, of County Armagh, was acquitted in December 2007.
Justice Declan Morgan, who is set to be Northern Ireland’s next Lord Chief Justice, finished hearing evidence in March of this year before confirming the four men, none of whom attended the hearings, are responsible for the atrocity.
A founding member of the Real IRA, McKevitt sits in prison in the Republic, while County Louth farmer Campbell is in custody in the North facing a bid to extradite him to Lithuania for arms smuggling charges.
Murphy, another County Louth native, was already found guilty in Dublin’s Special Criminal Court for conspiring to cause the Omagh, but his conviction was later dropped.
The fifth man accused by the victim’s families, Seamus McKenna, was cleared of all charges.