08/10/2002

Court hears RIRA and CIRA conspired in Omagh bomb

The Omagh bombing, which resulted in the deaths of 29 people in August 1998, was a joint operation between the Real IRA and the Continuity IRA, a Dublin court heard today.

It has been reported that the alleged conspiracy between the two republican paramilitary organisations was revealed in documents presented at the first day of the trial against Mr Michael McKevitt at Dublin's Special Criminal Court.

Mr Michael McKevitt (51), from Dundalk, Co Louth, is facing charges of directing terrorism and membership of an illegal organisation.

The documents, which were released by the prosecution today, detail statements made by David Rupert – a US citizen who was close Mr McKevitt at around the time of the bombing.

In Mr Rupert's statements, he alleges that McKevitt revealed how the Continuity IRA selected the mid-Ulster market town as a target, whilst the Real IRA primed and planted the explosives.

David Rupert is set to be the star witness at the trial. It is believed that the 51-year-old businessman was recruited by the FBI in 1996 and moved to Ireland where he infiltrated militant republican groups.

(GMcG)

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