Sunday Business Post

Garda prepared to testify in Omagh case

06 March 2005
By Barry O'Kelly

Colm Murphy

Claims that gardai ignored a warning about the Omagh bombing are expected to be raised by one of the men being sued by the victims' relatives.

The allegations will be aired during the forthcoming lawsuit facing Colm Murphy and four others. Murphy, 51, said last week that he intended to subpoena the man who made the claims, Garda John White.

Murphy said he also intended to produce new documentary evidence to corroborate White's story about the 1998 atrocity, which claimed 31 lives, including a woman pregnant with twins.

The Donegal-based detective is prepared to testify if asked. He said last week: “If I receive a subpoena, I will testify and tell the truth.”

White has claimed that a senior garda allowed the 1998 bomb to be transported through the Irish Republic in order to protect an informant named Paddy Dixon.

Dixon, a car thief from Dublin, was taken into the witness protection programme after his cover was blown three years ago. Days before Dixon went into the protection programme, White obtained a taped admission from him.

On the tape, Dixon said: “They [the Real IRA] had got a car and they [the gardai] knew it was moving . . .They knew it was moving within 24 hours at that stage.

“The Omagh investigation is going to blow up in their faces.”

Murphy - the only man jailed in connection with the bombing - had his conviction overturned on January 21. A retrial has been ordered.

Last week, Murphy told The Sunday Business Post: “I will definitely be calling John White as a witness. He is one of the key players who will be able to show the bigger picture.’' Murphy, of Ravensdale, Dundalk, said he would also produce new evidence to support White's claims.

Four other republicans - Seamus Daly in Dundalk, and Liam Campbell, Seamus McKenna and Michael McKevitt in Portlaoise Prison - are named in the €14 million lawsuit. The British government has donated stg£800,000 (€1 million) towards legal funds for the families civil suit.

Murphy and Michael McKevitt - both of whom deny involvement in the bombing - are still seeking legal aid.

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