The moment Seamus Daly walked free from Maghaberry Prison

Family members help Seamus Daly into a car outside Maghaberry Prison

Family members help Seamus Daly into a car outside Maghaberry Prison

These are the pictures showing Seamus Daly walking free from Maghaberry Prison after charges against him over the Omagh bombing were dramatically dropped.

The case against Mr Daly, who was charged with murdering 29 people in the 1998 Real IRA outrage, was dropped in court on Tuesday morning.

Seamus Daly

Seamus Daly

Mr Daly, 45 had been on remand in prison since being charged with the atrocity and a range of other terror offences in April 2014.

The Co Armagh man walked free from Maghaberry high-security prison just before 3pm, declining to make public comment before being driven away by family members.

Seven years ago, Mr Daly was one of four men successfully sued for bombing the Co Tyrone market town when he was found liable for the attack in a landmark civil case taken by some of the bereaved families.

A spokeswoman for the PPS said: “The decision not to seek the return of Seamus Daly for trial to the Crown Court has been taken following a careful review of the current state of the evidence.

Seamus Daly is driven away from prison

Seamus Daly is driven away from prison

“This has focused in particular on the testimony provided by a key witness during committal proceedings last week.

“Under cross-examination a number of issues became apparent which impacted upon the reliability of the evidence that the witness was providing.

“Having conducted a careful review of the case with the prosecution team, the Director of Public Prosecutions Barra McGrory QC has concluded that the available evidence no longer provides a reasonable prospect of a conviction. Consequently the prosecution cannot be continued.”

The spokeswoman added: “On behalf of the PPS, I extend our sympathy to the families affected by the Omagh bomb.

“We understand how difficult this decision will be for them. We hope they are assured that this decision was not taken lightly but is required in accordance with our duty as prosecutors to keep a decision under review and to discontinue criminal proceedings when the Test for Prosecution is no longer met.”