Belfast: judge acquits defendant in Omagh massacre

Like Brendan’s below on the tiny Tunguska asteroid :), this story is a couple of days old but Here it is anyway.

A judge in Belfast Crown Court has ruled Sean Hoey, 38, an electrician from south County Armagh, not guilty in the hideous terrorist bombing in Omagh, County Tyrone, whereby the execrable RIRA (“Real Irish Republican Army”) slaughtered 29 innocent children, women and men in August of 1998.

Apparently the Northern Ireland police botched their evidence, and the prosecutors their presentation, so thoroughly that the charges were impossible to prove. The judge was reportedly scathing in his analysis of the authorities’ performance in the case.

None of which, quite obviously, provides any Justice to the families of the victims of the mass murder; nor can it ever tell us whether Mr. Hoey, in addition to being now legally Not Guilty, is or is not also factually Innocent of having functioned as the RIRA Bombmaker ~ which we can now only hope (as he of course claims) that he really, actually, truly did Not.

The BBC’s Kevin Connolly gives us a good overview, well worth reading in full, of the whole horrid business, including these telling passages:

…But more than anything, for the rest of us, it was the timing of the attack on Omagh which burned it into our memories.

It came just four months after Northern Ireland’s fractious political parties made a political deal which included Sinn Fein, the political wing of the IRA.

It tore apart a community in a province which was beginning to learn to hope after decades of despair – and it made people fear that the new dawn which had promised so much, would be quickly and cruelly extinguished.

Like the other bombings in the early part of 1998 in places like Lisburn and Banbridge, Omagh was a conscious attempt by republicans who disagreed with the political strategy of Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness, to destabilise Northern Ireland in that vulnerable moment of hope.

It failed – but there is a terrible irony to the way in which the campaign was halted only by the wave of revulsion triggered by the carnage at Omagh.

…The Omagh families were dignified in defeat, as they have been dignified at every stage of their fight for justice. Their campaigning will go on, but the prospect is surely receding now that anyone will ever be convicted of murdering their husbands and brothers and sisters and wives and children.

As this case fades from our memories it’s worth remembering the victims of all Northern Ireland’s atrocities for whom the pain is not fading even as the province heads into a more hopeful future.


4 Responses to “Belfast: judge acquits defendant in Omagh massacre”

  1. Bono says:

    Fuck the revolution!

  2. Joe Loy says:

    “Fook”, Bono. In Ireland we say Fook. And, “repooblich”, Bono, not “revolution.” Hence: Fook the Repooblich :}. Now it’s back to the band and th’ oul’ savin’ o’ th’ wurruld if ye please ;).


    ~ Black 47

  3. Bill O'O'Reilly says:

    Damn activist judges.

  4. Joe Loy says:

    Hmm…Bono, Black 47, O’Reilly…who izzit this time, Chu Chullainn?… (!!!) ’tis the Night of the Irish Trolls, begob! Saints presairrve us! :)

    Divilishly yours,

    ~ The Pooka Fergus MacPhellimey