UK & World News

  • 11 April 2014, 5:39

Omagh Bombing: Murder Charges Over Attack

A prominent Irish republican has been charged with the murders of 29 people in the Omagh bombing 16 years ago.

Seamus Daly, 43, from Culavillein CountyMonaghan in the Irish Republic, was arrested by the PoliceService of Northern Ireland (PSNI) in Newry, County Down on Monday.

As well as the 29 counts murder, he faces two other charges linked to the blast inOmaghand two charges connected to an attempted explosion inLisburnin April 1998.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland said he would appear in court in Dungannon, County Tyrone on Friday.

The car bomb attack in Omagh on August 15, 1998 was the deadliest single atrocity of the Northern Ireland Troubles.

The 29 victims included a woman heavily pregnant with twins, three generations of the same family and Spanish exchange students.

Fifteen of the dead were under the age of 21. More than 300 people were injured in the blast, many suffering life-changing wounds.

The attack dashed hopes of an immediate peace, coming just four months after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement.

Dissident republicans from the so-called Real IRA had continued their campaign of violence in opposition to the power-sharing deal.

Inaccurate telephone warnings from the renegade terrorist faction resulted in people being evacuated into the path of the blast.

The 500lb device had been packed into a red Vauxhall Cavalier and was detonated by remote trigger.

The explosion ripped through Market Street which was packed with shoppers on a sunny Saturday afternoon at the height of summer.

Victims' families have long campaigned for justice but no one has ever been convicted of the atrocity in a criminal court.

Last year, the Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers MP declined their request for a public inquiry into the bombing.