Sunday Life

New life of Omagh massacre suspect

10 October 2004

A man detectives are keen to interview about the Omagh bombing, is living under an assumed name in England - at a location known to the Metropolitan Police.

The father of one of the victims of the horrific 1998 attack, suspects that a Garda informer, who was asked to steal a car to carry the 300lb Real IRA bomb, moved to England to escape a hit-squad of his former associates.

Paddy Dixon was detained for more than two hours by Customs and Excise in Cardiff in July, but, incredibly, the Omagh bomb investigation team wasn't told he had been detained.

It's believed that the large amount of cash he was carrying when he was stopped, was a payment from his Garda handlers to fund a new life in England.

For two years, the head of the Omagh bomb investigation, Superintendent Norman Baxter, has been denied access to Dixon by the Garda and the Irish government.

Baxter wants to probe a claim by suspended Garda Sergeant John White, that he passed a warning from Dixon to Garda headquarters in Dublin that the Real IRA was looking for a car to use in a major bombing, two weeks before the attack.

The information was never passed to the RUC, but if it had been, many believe that the Omagh attack, in which 29 people died, could have been foiled.

Michael Gallagher, whose 21-year-old son, Aidan, was killed in the attack, has written to Home Secretary David Blunkett to ask him to assist the police in their hunt for Dixon.

Said Mr Gallagher: "It's virtually certain that, when Dixon was detained in Cardiff in July, he was returning to a safe house in Britain, after receiving a regular payment from his Garda handlers in Dublin."

A security source in the Republic said that the Irish government's equivalent of MI5, the Crime and Security Branch, worked closely with British intelligence.

"They probably arranged with M15 to relocate Dixon through the Metropolitan Police, but whoever did it, MI5 or the Metropolitan Police or the Home Office will have knowledge of Dixon's whereabouts."


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