Donegal man charged over 1982 IRA bombing in Hyde Park

Thursday 23 May 2013 00.06
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John Anthony Downey was charged with the murder of the four soldiers
John Anthony Downey was charged with the murder of the four soldiers
John Downey will appear before the Old Bailey on Friday
John Downey will appear before the Old Bailey on Friday

A Co Donegal man has been charged with the murders of four soldiers in the IRA's Hyde Park bombing in London on 20 July, 1982.

John Anthony Downey, 61, was charged at Westminster Magistrates' court with murdering Roy Bright, Dennis Daly, Simon Tipper and Geoffrey Young.

The soldiers were among members of the Household Cavalry as they travelled from their barracks to Buckingham Palace.

Mr Downey was arrested at Gatwick Airport on Sunday.

He has also been charged with intending to cause an explosion likely to endanger life.

Mr Downey will appear before the Old Bailey on Friday.

The soldiers were riding through Hyde Park on their way to the changing of the guard ceremony when the bomb exploded.

Seven horses were also killed and a number of police officers and civilians were injured.

In 1987, Northern Ireland electrician Gilbert "Danny" McNamee was charged with making the bomb and jailed for 25 years.

He served 12 years before being freed under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

His conviction was quashed at the British High Court in 1998 after a high-profile campaign.

The judges said that although his conviction was "unsafe" it did not follow he was innocent of the crime.