Omagh bombing suspect Seamus Daly remanded in custody

Accused faces 29 counts of murder over 1998 Real IRA attack in Northern Ireland that tried to derail peace process

A man accused of carrying out the single biggest atrocity of the Troubles in Northern Ireland – the Omagh bombing of August 1998 – has been remanded in custody.

Seamus Daly appeared in Dungannon magistrates court in County Tyrone on Friday, to face 29 counts of murder and two charges relating to the explosion at Omagh in 1998.

The 43-year-old, who is based in south Armagh but is originally from across the Irish border in County Monaghan, also faced two separate charges of causing an explosion in Lisburn, County Antrim, in the same year as the Omagh bomb.

No one has ever been convicted of offences relating to the Real IRA attack on the market town four months after the Good Friday peace agreement was signed.

Daly has been previously found liable, along with three other men, of being responsible for the bombing as a result of a landmark civil action against them by families of the victims.

The deputy district judge, Paul Conway, refused bail for Daly and remanded him in custody to Maghaberry top security prison outside Belfast. The court was told the Police Service of Northern Ireland objected to bail over concerns that he might flee the jurisdiction if bailed.

He was arrested on Monday in Newry by detectives from the PSNI's serious crimes branch.

Daly was detained while accompanying his wife on a visit to the maternity unit of Newry's Daisy Hill hospital.

Daly denies any involvement in the bombing, which killed 29 people, including a woman heavily pregnant with twins. He will appear in court again on 6 May.

Michael Gallagher, who has fought for justice for the Omagh victims since his son Adrian died in the blast, described the decision to press charges on Thursday as an "important and positive development".


Henry McDonald, Ireland correspondent

The GuardianTramp

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