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Friday 1 December 2023 Dublin: 1°C
Peter Morrison/AP/Press Association Images Seamus Daly arrives in a police car at Dungannon Court.

Omagh bombing: Seamus Daly - 43, from Monaghan - charged with 29 counts of murder

Daly and three others were found to be responsible for the 1998 attack in a civil action.

Updated 10.42pm

A MAN APPEARED in court in Dungannon today charged with the murders of all 29 people killed in the 1998 Omagh bombing — the worst single atrocity of The Troubles.

Seamus Daly, 43, a prominent republican cause who has been found liable for the bombing in a civil case, was remanded in custody by a judge as police kept guard outside at Dungannon Magistrates’ Court.

No-one has ever been convicted in a criminal court of carrying out the Omagh bombing, which tore through the market town on a busy Saturday afternoon only months after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement.

However, relatives of some of the victims brought a civil action against five men they claimed were responsible, including Daly.

The Belfast High Court ruled in 2009 that Daly and three of the other four men were responsible and they were later ordered to pay more than £1.6 million (€1.9 million) in damages to the relatives.

Daly, from Culloville in Co Monaghan, has always denied involvement in the bombing.

He has been charged with 29 counts of murder, two additional offences linked to the Omagh explosion and two linked to an attempted explosion in Lisburn in April 1998.

Omagh bombing arrest PA Wire / Press Association Images PA Wire / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

Michael Gallagher, whose son Aiden was killed at Omagh, was in court for Daly’s appearance.

He said earlier that the victims’ families had never given up their fight for justice.

“It has been a long, difficult struggle,” he told BBC radio.

We have put the police, and both the British and Irish governments, under tremendous pressure and we continue to do that and we don’t apologise for it.We think of the people that we lost — in our case our only son Aiden — and that gives us the strength to carry on.

Some of the relatives believe that the full truth of the events leading up to the attack have never been fully revealed.

They were angry when the British government last year ruled out holding a public inquiry into the circumstances of the bombing.

The attack

Acting on a series of conflicting bomb warnings, police had moved shoppers and shop owners into a part of Omagh where a car packed with 500 pounds (225 kg) of explosives was parked, unwittingly putting them directly in the path of the huge blast.

A fireball swept from the epicentre of the explosion and shop fronts were blown back on to shoppers inside. The blast was so powerful that some of the victims’ bodies were never found.

The Real IRA claimed responsibility for the attack three days later.

Originally published 4.32pm

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Read: Man charged with Omagh bombing