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Omagh bombing

The Omagh bombing was a car bomb attack carried-out by the Real IRA on August 15, 1998. The Real IRA are a small splinter group of former Provisional Irish Republican Army members opposed to the peace process marked by the Good Friday Agreement.

In the bombing, 29 people were killed (13 women, - one of whom was pregnant, 9 children and 6 men) and roughly 220 people were injured or maimed.

On the day of the bombing, the Royal Ulster Constabulary had received three false warning calls to distract their security. The first came less than half an hour before the bombing.

The BBC released the names of the prime suspects as Seamus McKenna, Michael McKevitt, Liam Campbell, Colm Murphy, and Seamus Daly. Bomb builder and pub keeper Murphy, 48, from Ravensdale, Co Louth, was charged and convicted in 2001 by the Dublin special criminal court for "conspiracy to cause an explosion likely to endanger life or cause injury". He was sentenced to fourteen years in jail. No others have been indicted criminally, on claims of lack of evidence. Many of the others were later sued in a civil action by the relatives of people killed in the bombing, including the families of James Barker, 12, Samantha McFarland, 17, Lorraine Wilson, 15, and 20-month-old Breda Devine.

The Real IRA have claimed that their intent was not to kill civilians but to destroy a Law Court. This is not supported by the evidence, or the circumstantial testimony. The timing of the bombing, and the initial false warning calls served to magnify, not limit, the number of deaths caused by the bomb.