The Real IRA leaders found liable for Omagh bombing
The four leaders of the Real IRA who were today in a landmark civil case have long histories of involvement in violent republicanism. They are:
Michael McKevittMcKevitt founded the Real IRA in November 1997 following a major split within the Provisional IRA. At the time of the division over the latter's support for all-party peace talks in Northern Ireland, McKevitt was in charge of its terrorist arsenal. He is married to Bernadette Sands, a sister of the IRA hunger striker and republican icon Bobby Sands. McKevitt is currently serving a sentence for directing acts of terrorism in the Irish Republic.
Colm MurphyFrom South Armagh, Murphy was described in court as a "dedicated terrorist who has been an active participant in carrying on terrorist attacks over a long period". The judge said Murphy had originally been in the Continuity IRA in 1995 but acted as an "operations director" between it and the Real IRA in a series of attacks between 1997 and 1998 to destabilise the peace process.
Liam CampbellCampbell was introduced to FBI undercover agent David Rupert as a member of the Real IRA's seven-man army council. The judge said he was satisfied there was overwhelming and cogent evidence that he held a leadership role in the Real IRA at the time of the Omagh massacre. Campbell is currently fighting extradition to Lithuania, where he faces arms smuggling charges. He fell out with McKevitt over the latter's decision to declare a ceasefire from his prison cell in the republic's top security Portlaoise jail.
Seamus DalyFrom Dundalk in the Irish Republic, Daly was linked to the Real IRA bomb team via a mobile phone he was using on the day of the explosion. There was an "irresistible inference" that the phone was being used for terrorist purposes. Daly has already been named publicly – on the BBC's Panorama programme – for being linked to the plot to bomb Omagh.