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Omagh bombing families’ dismay as case against Seamus Daly collapses

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Michael Gallagher lost his son Aidan in the 1998 Omagh bombing Picture: Getty Images

RELATIVES of those bereaved in the Omagh bomb have spoken of their dismay at the collapse of the criminal trial against Seamus Daly. 

Public Prosecutors withdrew the case today due to inconsistencies in evidence from a key prosecution witness.

Daly, 45 from Culloville, Co. Monaghan was charged with possessing explosives and causing the bomb, together with the deaths of 29 people in Co. Tyrone in 1998, in what was the biggest single atrocity of the Troubles.

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He has been on remand in prison since 2014 after being charged with the attack, which he has repeatedly denied.

Speaking to The Irish Post outside the courtroom, Michael Gallagher, who lost his son Aidan in the 1998 explosion, said: “We have been once again been shockingly let down by the justice system, from the police to the prosecutors and beyond.

“Many families have lost all faith in the courts process altogether.”

He added: “This was probably our last chance for justice.  We will now meet with our legal team to decide our next steps since we, the families, are forced to pick up the pieces yet again.”

Stanley McCombe, who lost his wife Ann in the bombing, added:  “We have been pursuing justice for almost 20 years and have had setback after setback.

“The Government have also let us down by refusing a cross-border public enquiry into the investigation, which must now be granted to get to the bottom of this and discover if someone is being protected and why.”

Seamus Daly walks to a car after being released from Maghaberry prison near Belfast, Northern Ireland on March 1, 2016. A British court dropped all charges against Daly, the only remaining suspect in Northern Ireland's 1998 Omagh bombing that killed 29 people and threatened a peace deal in the province. / AFP / PAUL FAITH        (Photo credit should read PAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images)
Seamus Daly after being released from Maghaberry prison near Belfast today Photo: Getty Images

Daly was one of four men found liable for the atrocity in a landmark 2009 civil case brought by the families, who were awarded more than £1.6million in damages, as yet uncollected.

The Omagh families were represented by the Chancery Lane-based legal firm H2O Law, part-funded by public donations after a lengthy media and public campaign.

To date, no one has been convicted in a criminal trial for the Omagh bombing.

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