Ulster Herald


By Anton McCabe
8 July 2004

CONTROVERSIAL Carrickmore priest Monsignor Denis Faul has told the UH he has major concerns about the conviction of Colm Murphy, the only man convicted in relation to the Omagh bombing.

Carrickmore PP Monsignor Faul has been a strident critic of Republicans for many years, and has frequently clashed with Sinn Féin.

He has visited Murphy twice in Portlaoise prison, and met the jailed man's wife and family. He has known them all for some 30 years.

Monsignor Faul was involved in campaigns for the Birmingham Six, The Guildford Four, the Maguire Seven and Judith Ward, all jailed for long terms after high-profile IRA bombings in England in the 1970s, and all subsequently cleared on appeal. He made it clear he did not wish to hurt the Omagh relatives.

'As a result of my experience of the English cases, I'm worried about cases of high emotion,' Monsignor Faul said. 'In my opinion, Murphy did not get a fair trial. I followed the trial very closely. It was reported two Garda’ were adding to evidence.

'Mr Justice Barr immediately ruled it out of order, and requested a police investigation into that.'

This, he said, corrupted the whole case against Murphy. 'There were plenty of grounds for having reasonable doubt,' he said.

Monsignor Faul also had doubts whether Murphy, when in custody, made the statements attributed to him by the Garda’.

'During the 1970s I advised all persons arrested under emergency laws to stay silent and not answer questions, which is their right,' he said.

There have been a number of delays in Murphy's appeal.

'I find it very difficult to understand why this appeal has not come to court in the last two years and three months,' Mgr Faul said. 'Are the authorities worried to see what will come out in the appeal?'

Michael Gallagher, spokesperson for the Omagh Support and Self-Help Group, said he would not object to Murphy being granted an appeal.

'What I would say is let that appeal go through and see what the courts decide' Gallagher said.

'If he feels he was wrongly convicted there is a procedure there. I have to do what I have always done that is put faith in the court system'.

Mr Gallagher said, however, that the evidence given by the two Garda’ who allegedly perjured themselves, was withdrawn and did not form part of the Book of Evidence against Murphy.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?