03 January 2021 06:35
Former Real IRA leader Michael McKevitt, one of those held responsible for the Omagh bomb, has died. He was leader of the dissident Republican group when it carried out the 1998 Omagh bombing which claimed the lives of 29 people, and unborn twins. The atrocity was the single deadliest attack in the history of the conflict in the North. The 71-year-old Louth native had been ill for some time. No-one has ever been convicted in a criminal court for the Omagh bomb of August 15, 1998.
However, McKevitt and three other men were held responsible in a Civil action taken by some of the families of the victims. The judge in the High Court civil trial in 2009 ruled that high profile dissident republicans McKevitt, Liam Campbell, Colm Murphy and Seamus Daly were all liable for the Omagh bomb. He ordered them to pay a total of £1.6m damages to twelve relatives who took the case, althought the costs were largely symbolic as the familes did not receive any money. McKevitt was serving a prison sentence at that time as he received a 20-year term in the Republic in August 2003 for "membership of an illegal organisation" (the Real IRA) and "directing terrorism." On Easter Sunday 2016, he was released from prison upon the completion of his sentence. In a tribute dissident grouping Saoradh described McKevitt as a "formidable and dedicated Republican". Advertisement