Omagh, Ireland, 1998: The deadliest bombing of the Northern Ireland Conflict occurs, killing 29 people and injuring over 200 more. This act of terrorism was completed by men who affiliated themselves with the Real IRA (Irish Republican Army), a split-away faction of the Provisional IRA who oppose the Good Friday Agreement. While times have been hard for the people of Omagh and the world, the man responsible may have finally been caught.
When the Omagh bombing occurred, tensions had been growing in Ireland, and relations had been on the verge of exploding for some time. The terrorists had planted a bomb in a car, killing many unsuspecting citizens and tourists. This made the pain of Omagh that much more real to the watching world.
Perhaps one of the most unpleasant aspects of the Omagh bombing was that most of those killed in the explosion were women and children, as a miscommunication about the suspected bomb caused Omagh officials to lead nearby individuals closer to the bomb. Among those killed were six children, six teenagers, and a woman 8-months pregnant with twins.
Investigations of the Omagh bombing have been going on for 16 years. With many different leads and accusations, several individuals saw the inside of a courtroom before eventually being acquitted on all charges. Omagh and the world waited restlessly while the true guilty parties were being hunted down.
The searching appears to have finally come to a stop for Omagh authorities. Seamus Daly, a man already suspected and accused by the families of victims of the Omagh bombing, has been charged with 29 counts of murder.
While this is as far as anyone has come in being convicted of the Omagh bombing, some people are skeptical that this charging will put an end to the nightmare. According to the BBC, “No-one has ever been convicted of carrying out the Omagh bombing in a criminal court.”
However, conviction seems likely when looking at Daly’s history. ABC News reports that he has already spent three years in jail after pleading guilty to an RIRA membership, and was also found responsible of the Omagh bombing in a landmark civil lawsuit.
Seamus Daly has denied any involvement in the Omagh bombing and is scheduled to appear in front of a district judge soon. Hopefully closure will soon come to all those affected by the Omagh car bombing, and much like some survivors of the Boston bombing, there will be some happy endings.