IRA men get 25 years

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TWO IRA terrorists were each sentenced to 25 years' imprisonment at the Old Bailey yesterday for plotting to cause a series of explosions in a week-long campaign which wrecked shopping centres across north London last year.

The sentences passed on Gerard Mackin, 33, and Derek Doherty, 23, the first terrorist convictions since the IRA ceasefire, were in line with previous sentences and reflected no softening among the judiciary despite the embryonic peace.

But after more than 12 hours of discussions the jury was discharged as it was unable to reach a verdict on Thomas McAuley, 37, also accused of conspiracy to cause explosions. He denies the charge and now faces a retrial.