Families Blast N. Ireland Bomb Acquittal
Demand inquiry after lone suspect cleared on 56 counts
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 21, 2007 5:30 AM CST
Michael Gallagher, right, attends Lagonside Courts, Belfast, Northern Ireland, Thursday, Dec. 20, 2007 with other family members who lost loved ones in the 1998 Omagh bomb.   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Furious families of victims have slammed provincial police and called for an inquiry a day after the acquittal of a man charged with the worst terror attack in Northern Ireland history. Sean Hoey was cleared of 56 counts of murder and terrorist charges stemming from the 1998 Omagh bombing. The trial judge blasted the police for "reprehensible" conduct and a "slapdash approach" that produced unreliable DNA evidence, writes the Telegraph.

 A 500-pound car bomb detonated on a busy Omagh street in the carnage, killing 29 and injuring 220. So far only one man, Hoey's uncle, has been convicted for the attack, and his conviction was overturned on appeal. "This case has been a disgrace by any standards," said a father who lost his son in the attack.