Murphy further remanded over Omagh

Thu, May 8, 2008, 01:00

Colm Murphy has been further remanded by the Special Criminal Court pending the outcome of his legal challenge to a retrial on charges connected with the Omagh bomb.

Mr Murphy’s solicitor Michael Finucane told the court that the Supreme Court has yet to hear an appeal against an earlier High Court decision which refused an application to halt the retrial.

Mr Murphy (54), a building contractor and publican with an address at Jordan’s Corner, Ravensdale, Co Louth, was freed on bail in 2005 after the Court of Criminal Appeal quashed his conviction for conspiracy offences connected with the Real IRA bombing in 1998.

The attack killed 29 people, including a woman pregnant with twins, and injured more than 300 people.

Mr Murphy was jailed for 14 years by the Special Criminal Court in January 2002 for his alleged role in the Omagh bomb. He was the first person to be convicted in either the Republic or Northern Ireland in connection with the bombing.

The Court of Criminal Appeal overturned the conviction in January 2005 and ordered a retrial after finding that the court of trial had failed to give proper regard to altered Garda interview notes and that there had been “an invasion of the presumption of innocence” in its judgment.

During a twent-five day trial in 2001 and 2002, Mr Murphy had pleaded not guilty to conspiring in Dundalk with another person not before the court to cause an explosion in the State or elsewhere between August 13th and 16th, 1998.

The court remanded him on continuing bail until October when the case will be mentioned again.