It was on August 15th 1999, one year after the Omagh bombing, that I stood with my wife and children outside a mini-market in Oldcastle, County Meath to observe a minute's silence. I remember feeling slightly uncomfortably British: that, and vaguely ashamed of such self-consciousness when I was meant to be thinking only of the bereaved. Today, Sean Hoey, was acquitted of committing the atrocity. The BBC's Kevin Connolly describes what the judge said:
"As we listened, it became clear slowly that [he] was not satisfied with the case. There was strongly worded criticism of how the police had collected, labelled and handled evidence. There was elegantly expressed scepticism at the extent to which scientists have validated a technique called Low Copy Number DNA - essentially the belief that workable evidence can be gathered from microscopic particles of material. Above all there was thinly veiled judicial anger that two police witnesses had 'beefed up' their statements - had lied, in plain English."