Eugene Dalton: IRA bomb Family to take legal action over Libyan semtex

Creggan bomb sceneImage source, Pacemaker
Image caption,
Three people were murdered in the IRA attack

The family of a man killed in an IRA bomb are to take legal action against the British Government over the issue of compensation for victims of Libyan imported Semtex.

Eugene Dalton was one of three people killed after triggering a booby trap device while checking on a neighbour in Creggan, Londonderry in 1988.

The Northern Ireland Affairs Committee is looking at how effective government efforts have been in seeking redress for victims.

Semtex from Libya became the IRA's most devastating and infamous weapon during the Troubles.

'Hierarchy of victims'

Christopher Stanley, the lawyer representing the Dalton family, said: "What they want is to use the committee to ask questions about what, at all, did the British government do to block compensation from Libya back in the 2000s."

Claims were made at the NI Affairs Committee that deals were done between Mr Blair and former US President George W Bush to limit the amount of compensation liable by the Libyan regime.

"Mr Blair cannot be compelled to come before the select committee, but our legal action now is to find out if there was a route to compensation and if it was blocked," Mr Stanley said.

"If so, the family want to know why. We will have a conference with counsel tomorrow to discuss the form of legal proceedings we will be taking against the British government for its negligence in failing to secure compensation for the family."

Conservative MP Laurence Robertson, the chair of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, said they "cannot comment on individual cases".

Image caption,
Libya supplied the plastic explosive Semtex to the IRA

The attack in Creggan became known as the "Good Samaritan bomb" because the three friends had gone to check on the whereabouts of a neighbour kidnapped earlier by the IRA.

The IRA later apologised, admitting it planted the booby trap device in a bid to kill soldiers.

Links between the IRA and Libya show that the country's leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi helped provide the IRA with the weaponry they needed to wage an armed campaign that lasted more than 30 years and claimed more than 1,000 lives.

He was toppled from power in August 2011 after 42 years in charge of the country. Two months later he was killed after an assault on his birthplace of Sirte.