Former Real IRA leader Michael McKevitt dies aged 71

Former Real IRA leader Michael McKevitt dies aged 71

THE FORMER leader of the Real IRA, Michael McKevitt, has died from cancer. 

McKevitt, 71, was diagnosed with terminal cancer several years ago. 

The Co Louth native previously served 20 years in prison for directing terrorism and membership of an illegal organisation. 

He was released in 2016. 

McKevitt was married to Bernadette Sands McKevitt, a sister of IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands. 

The 71-year-old was one of four men found liable for the 1998 Omagh bombing. 

McKevitt, who always denied being involved in the bombing, was found liable by a judge in a landmark 2009 civil trial along with Liam Campbell, Colm Murphy. 

He was subsequently ordered to pay £1.6 million in damages to the 12 relatives who took on the case. 

Another man, Seamus McKenna, was cleared of liability for the bombing. 

Despite the result of the civil trial, no one was ever convicted of the dissident republican bomb attack in Omagh. 

29 people, including a woman pregnant with twins, were killed in the bombing. 

Back in 2019, McKevitt was adjudicated bankrupt in the High Court after failing to pay out the damages.