IRA Hyde Park bombing suspect John Downey cancels homecoming party
It was not meant to insult bereaved families, he said
Saturday 01 March 2014
A party to mark the release of the man suspected of the IRA Hyde Park bombing has been cancelled.
The case against John Downey, 62, collapsed in London last week because he had previously been assured by Northern Irish police he would not be prosecuted.
A "homecoming" party had been planned at a pub in north Donegal on Saturday after he was again released but Mr Downey called it off over concerns it would become a media circus.
The former oyster farmer said it was intended as a simple get together of family, friends and neighbours who supported him after his arrest.
“Some elements of the media are portraying the event planned for tonight as triumphalist and insulting to bereaved families. That was never what it was about,” he said.
The Sinn Fein member has always denied planting the explosive that killed four soldiers in 1982 and badly injured other members of the regiment and members of public in the park.
The flag-draped coffin carrying Lt Anthony Daly, the Blues and Royals officer killed in the Hyde Park bombing The collapse of his trial for the IRA attack sparked near chaos in Downing Street and Northern Ireland's devolved government.
A judge ruled he could not stand trial as he had been given assurances by the Police Service of Northern Ireland he was not wanted for questioning or prosecution in the United Kingdom, despite the Metropolitan Police holding a warrant for his arrest.
The case saw the release of details a deal the last Labour government struck with Sinn Fein that saw more than 180 individuals issued with letters making clear they could return to the UK because the authorities were not seeking them.
The government has been challenged to immediately stop consideration of five active cases involving on-the-run IRA terror suspects.
Additional reporting by Press Association
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
- 1 BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
- 2 Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
- 3 Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
- 4 The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
- 5 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers