Omagh bomb retrial begins with phone records

Tue, Jan 15, 2013, 00:00

Belfast High Court heard yesterday how the journey to and from Omagh of the Real IRA gang responsible for the August 1998 Omagh bombing was traced through mobile phone records and cell phone masts.

Lord Brennan, QC, who is leading a civil case against alleged senior Real IRA members Colm Murphy and Séamus Daly, told Mr Justice Gillen yesterday it was these phone records that would prove both men were involved in the attack that killed 29 people, including a woman pregnant with twins.

Lord Brennan was speaking on the opening day of the retrial of Mr Murphy, a builder and publican from Dundalk, Co Louth, and Mr Daly, a bricklayer from Cullaville, Co Monaghan, who are being sued by some of the Omagh relatives.

Mobile phones

Outlining his case, Lord Brennan said it could be proven that it was Mr Murphy who supplied two mobile phones that were used to relay messages between the scout car and the bomb car, and that it could also be established that Mr Daly was actually in one of these cars.

He said that one of the mobile phones that ended in the numbers 980 was borrowed by Mr Murphy from one of his employees while Mr Murphy supplied Mr Daly with the mobile phone that ended in the numbers 585.

Lord Brennan, who was joined by fellow QC Brett Lockhart in leading the case for the families, produced a map illustrating the route the bombers took to the Co Tyrone town on August 15th, 1998, based on records of the calls between these two numbers.

The map showed part of the route through Castleblayney and Emyvale in Co Monaghan, on through Aughnacloy, Co Tyrone, and finally arriving in Omagh.

Successful appeal

In 2011 Mr Murphy and Mr Daly had successfully appealed a 2009 civil court decision that found them liable for the bombing. The Real IRA leader Michael McKevitt, who is in prison in the South, and Liam Campbell, who is facing extradition to Lithuania on gun-running charges, failed in the same appeal to have the judgment against them overturned.