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Saturday, 28 October, 2000, 00:12 GMT 01:12 UK
Omagh families to sue 'suspects'
Omagh bombing
The Omagh bomb killed 29 people and unborn twins
Families of four of the children killed in the Omagh bombing are planning to take civil action against four suspects named in the BBC's Panorama programme.

Police have said they know who carried out the dissident Real IRA attack, but do not have the evidence to bring them to court.

But victims' families believe a civil case is one way of forcing suspects to account for their movements on the day of the attack.

The bomb killed 29 people and unborn twins, when it exploded in the packed centre of the Tyrone town on 15 August 1998.

We feel it's high time these people were made to account for their movements

Victor Barker, father of victim
The BBC's Panorama programme identified and tried to question four men from the Irish Republic, linked by detectives to mobile phones traced to the Omagh area at the time of the blast.

One of those named, Dundalk publican Colm Murphy, 48, has been charged with conspiring to cause an explosion and is awaiting trial in Dublin.

Relatives of 12-year-old James Barker, Samantha McFarland, 17, Lorraine Wilson, 15, and 20-month-old Breda Devine now believe suing those who refuse to answer questions about their movements is the way to get justice.

James' father, Victor, said: "There cannot be peace without justice. We feel it's high time these people were made to account for their movements and civil action is one way to do that.

"It may well be in the course of that action other information might come forward which would help the police pursue their criminal inquiry."

The Daily Mail newspaper has launched a fighting fund to help pay the families' legal costs.

Although relatives plan to take the action in the names of just four families to simplify proceedings, Mr Barker explained that many others were supporting them.

"We chose a small cross-section to highlight the fact that so many children and young people were killed," he said. "This is not a political issue, it is not sectarian, it is a question of justice."

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25 Oct 00 | UK Politics
No public inquiry into Omagh
06 Sep 00 | Northern Ireland
Omagh inquest hears first evidence
09 Oct 00 | Northern Ireland
Omagh programme is broadcast
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