Gardai in Carrickmacross look for information on stolen bomb car


Gardai have appealed for information on the Vauxhall Cavalier car used to carry the 500 lb bomb which exploded in Omagh on Saturday. The car was stolen in Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan, late on Wednesday night or early on Thursday morning, and fitted with false number plates.

At a press conference in Carrickmacross Garda station yesterday, Chief Supt Colm Rooney said anyone with information on those involved in the attack should come forward. "If they don't, by their silence they are themselves responsible for the deaths and atrocities that took place in Omagh last Saturday."

He said the car, which was registered to a local man with no involvement whatsoever in the bombing, was stolen from outside a house in the quiet residential area of St Macartan's Villas. The owner was visiting his girlfriend and parked the car outside her house at about 11 p.m. on Wednesday night. He left at 3.30 a.m. to go to work, saw it was missing, and immediately reported the theft to local gardai.

"Our investigation is to establish who the people are who stole the car. Car thefts do not happen on a regular basis here and Carrickmacross may have been a random choice. We do not know where the vehicle was until it turned up in Omagh and we are anxious to trace its movements.

"So far we have had an excellent response from the public and I am sure it will continue. I have no doubt, though, that there are people in the Border region who have good quality information on the activities of these people and I am appealing for them to come forward," Chief Supt Rooney added.

When it was stolen, the maroon-coloured four-door saloon car had registration plates reading 91 DL 2554 and both plates had an IRL crest on the right-hand corners. It was in good condition with a telescopic aerial, fully extended, on the rear passenger boot side. An Aer Lingus staff car badge was on the driver's side of the windscreen.

St Macartan's Villas is just off the main Dublin-Derry road. Carrickmacross is less than five miles from the Border with south Armagh.

Anyone with information on the car should telephone the incident room in Carrickmacross garda station at (042) 61046, or the Garda confidential telephone number 1 800-666-111.