Face of 'Omagh bomber'

14 September 2003
The News of the World

Martin Breen

THIS is the first picture of the man charged with helping build the bomb used in the Omagh massacre. Our exclusive shot of alleged Real IRA bomb-maker Sean Hoey was captured by undercover reporters. The unemployed electrician, 34, appeared in court last weekend in connection with 14 bombings, including Omagh, which claimed 29 lives. Hoey, who denies all the charges, covered himself with a blanket as he entered and left the building. But we have obtained previously unpublished footage recorded by an undercover BBC Panorama team for their award-winning documentary Who Bombed Omagh?

The secret filming took place in 2000 at a business owned by another Omagh bomb suspect, double glazing salesman Oliver Traynor. Panorama's investigator posed as a customer who wanted to place an order for plastic doors and window frames made by Traynor. The camera also caught Hoey standing next to Traynor during the discussions. But the footage was never broadcast by BBC1.

Hoey is accused of possessing an explosive substance used in the Omagh attack-namely the Mark 19 timer power unit which triggered the electrical charge that set off the 500lb car bomb on August 15, 1998. Police have previously revealed that the timer device was packed into a lunch box.

Hoey, who is now on remand in Ulster's Maghaberry Prison, is also charged with membership of the Real IRA between March 12, 1997 and September 2, 2003. Hoey's uncle is Colm Murphy, who was jailed for 14 years in Dublin last year for conspiring to cause the Omagh explosion.

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