Republican remanded in custody over Omagh bombing
Seamus Daly (43) charged with murder of 29 people in 1998 Real IRA attack
Seamus Daly arrives at Dungannon Court today. Photograph: Paul McErlane/EPA
Police officers and members of the emergency services survey the aftermath of the Omagh bombing in 1998. Photograph: Paul McErlane/PA Wire
Members of the media try to get a picture of Seamus Daly arriving at Dungannon Magistrates Court today. Photograph: Cathal McNaughton/Reuters
Michael Gallagher, whose son Aidan was killed in the 1998 Omagh bombing, speaks to the waiting media outside Dungannon Court House follwing the appearance of 43-year-old Seamus Daly, a member of the terrorist Real Irish Republican Army (Real IRA), charged with murdering 29 people in the Omagh bombing. Photograph: Paul McErlane/EPA
A Co Monaghan republican has been remanded in custody in connection with the murders of 29 people, including a woman pregnant with twins, in the Omagh bombing 15 years ago.
Seamus Daly (43) with an address at Jonesborough, Co Armagh appeared before the magistrates court in Dungannon, Co Tyrone, dressed in a dark blue hoodie and jeans .
The charges read to him included the murder of one of the 29 Omagh victims who died in the Real IRA bombing of August 15th 1998, details of the 28 other murders were not given.
Other charges relate to explosives offences linked to Omagh and to an earlier bomb attack in April 1998. The defendant faces 33 charges in total.
PSNI Det Insp John Caldwell said he believed he could link the defendant to the charges and said the prosecution case would include telephone and forensic evidence.
He said the police would oppose any application for bail on the grounds that the defendant may fail to appear at a further court hearing, that he might flee the jurisdiction given his ties with the Republic and that he might interfere with potential witnesses.
The court further heard that when stopped and arrested by the PSNI in Newry, Co Down on Monday, the defendant gave the name of his brother and that his true identity was later established using fingerprint comparison.
A certificate of conviction from the Special Criminal Court in Dublin was shown to the court which alleged that the defendant had been a member of a proscribed organisation, namely Oglaigh na hEireann or the IRA.
However Mr Daly’s legal representation closely questioned the detective on the nature of the evidence, claiming there were questions over its admissibility and reliability. This questioning lasted for around 20 minutes of the half-hour hearing. The defendant’s legal representative also questioned PSNI claims regarding his address, asserting that the address given was that of another family member. It was also claimed that the prosecution case against Mr Daly was weak and elements of it have already been discredited.
The magistrate refused bail but reminded the court that Mr Daly did have a right to appeal this to a higher court. He said there were no bail conditions which he could impose which would alleviate any risk to any further hearing. The defendant was remanded in custody to appear before a court again by video link on May 6th. Legal aid was granted.
Mr Daly, who twice looked over his shoulder at the public gallery during proceedings was then led away, waving at supporters.