Tag Archives: Hyde Park Bombing

Enemy of the State – John Anthony Downey

Enemy of the State 

John Anthony Downey

Image result for John Anthony Downey

John Anthony Downey from County Donegal was arrested at Gatwick Airport on 19 May 2013 and appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 22 May 2013 charged with the murder of four Household Cavalry members who were killed in the July 1982 Hyde Park bombing. Downey denied all charges.

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John Downey’s case was sent to the Old Bailey for a bail hearing on 24 May 2013 and a preliminary hearing on 5 June 2013. Proceedings against Downey were dropped, and he was freed on 25 February 2014.

Call for immediate release

 

Image result for Gerry Kelly ira

John Downey’s arrest provoked a strong reaction from Sinn Féin who called for his immediate release. Sinn Féin Assembly member Gerry Kelly said Sinn Féin member Downey was a “long-time supporter of the Peace Process” and should be released. Gerry Kelly added:

“The decision to arrest and charge him in relation to IRA activities in the early 1980s is vindictive, unnecessary and unhelpful. It will cause anger within the republican community. Clearly, if John Downey had been arrested and convicted previously he would have been released under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement. As part of the Weston Park negotiation, the British Government committed to resolving the position of OTRs [‘On the Runs’].

John Downey received a letter from the Northern Ireland Office in 2007 stating that he was not wanted by the PSNI or any British police force. Despite travelling to England on many occasions, now – six years on – he finds himself before the courts on these historic charges. This development represents bad faith and a departure from what was previously agreed by both governments. John Downey needs to be released and allowed to return home to his family.”

Conditional bail

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John Downey was granted conditional bail on 2 August 2013 to attend trial at the Old Bailey on 14 January 2014, where he will be represented by Gareth Peircewho famously represented those wrongly accused of the Guildford Four bombing. If he has the temerity to appear as an ‘expert’ witness at Downey’s trial, Alan Feraday OBE should expect to face a withering cross-examination by Gareth Peirce.

Abuse of process

On 25 February 2014, the BBC reported:

A man accused of killing four soldiers in the 1982 IRA Hyde Park bombing will not be prosecuted because he was given a guarantee he would not face trial. It follows a judge’s ruling that an official assurance given in error meant John Downey’s prosecution is “an abuse of process”.

Another Alan Feraday prosecution bites the dust!

HYDE AND SEEK

 The 1982 bombing killed four soldiers and seven cavalry horses

Hyde Park bombing suspect John Downey goes on the run and moves his assets after being served court papers.

The convicted IRA man has fled his family home after being served court papers over the devastating 1982 attack.

And in June he shifted ownership of the property to his wife Phyliss, two months after The Sun launched the Hyde Park Justice campaign.

Downey also moved ownership of two plots of land to his wife, who took out a £227,000 loan against them.

It is understood she is now trying to sell the property that they jointly owned — while a house is built on one of the plots. Mark Tipper, whose Troo­per brother Simon was among four soldiers killed in the London terror blast, hailed the news.

He said: “If he’s innocent why’s he moving his assets? Justice is getting closer.”

Downey, 65, has until the start of next month to respond to a High Court claim submitted by victims’ families. Court papers have been hand-delivered to his properties. But a judge’s or­der means an ad placed last week in an Irish newspaper also counted as notification of the case to the suspect.

It is understood Downey is still in Donegal, Ireland. The Hyde Park Justice campaign has raised over £84,000 from Sun readers. You can donate via credit or de­bit card at www.crowdjustice.org/case/hyde-park-justice.

See the Sun for full story

Join the campaigne

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Mark Tipper
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My name is Mark Tipper. My brother, Trooper Simon Tipper, was murdered by the IRA. He was just 19. I am raising money to bring the chief suspect to court after a government mistake let him walk free.

We met our funding target

Aug. 18, 2017

Yesterday we met our funding target of £85,000.  Thank you to all those who have supported us these past few months.  We couldn’t have come this far without you.  Your kindness and generosity have meant the world to us.

Read More >>

We can bring the Chief Suspect in one of Britain’s worst terrorist atrocities to justice but time is running out, and our own government is thwarting our efforts.  That is why we are asking the British public to support us instead.  We need to hit our fundraising goal before August 1st – otherwise we will lose our chance and the Chief Suspect will evade justice yet again.

We urgently need your help.  With it, we can succeed.  Together, we can ensure justice is done.  We cannot allow terrorists to get away with murder.

 

Clockwise from top left: Lance Corporal Jeffrey Young, Lieutenant Anthony Daly, Trooper Simon Tipper and Squadron Quartermaster Corporal Roy Bright

Background

In 1982, my brother, Trooper Simon Tipper, was murdered in cold blood by IRA terrorists along with three other British soldiers during the Changing of the Guard Procession.    Dozens of other soldiers and civilians were also injured and maimed.  Seven horses were slaughtered.  Later that day, seven bandsmen from the Royal Green Jackets were murdered in Regent’s Park, believed to be by the same IRA team.  This was one of the worst terrorist attacks ever committed on British soil.

The Chief Suspect spent thirty years on the run.  In 2013, he was finally arrested and brought to trial, but, despite reports that police files link him to five other terrorist attacks, a “catastrophic mistake” by Tony Blair’s government let him go.

With your support, we can help correct this mistake.

See here for more details and how to donate

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See here for Hyde Park & Regent’s Park Bombings – 20th July 1982 – Least We Forget!

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Hyde Park & Regent’s Park Bombings – 20th July 1982 – Lest We Forget!

 

 Hyde Park and Regent’s Park Bombings

Hyde Park

Regents Park

The Hyde Park and Regent’s Park bombings occurred on 20 July 1982 in London. Members of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) detonated two bombs during British military ceremonies in Hyde Park and Regent’s Park, both in central London.

Soldiers injured in the bombing are pictured following the attack

 

The explosions killed 11 military personnel:  four soldiers of the Blues & Royals at Hyde Park, and seven bandsmen of the Royal Green Jackets at Regent’s Park. Seven of the Blues & Royals’ horses also died in the attack. One seriously injured horse, Sefton, survived and was subsequently featured on television programmes and was awarded “Horse of the Year“.

McNamee

Gilbert “Danny” McNamee

In 1987, Gilbert “Danny” McNamee was convicted of making the Hyde Park bomb and jailed for 25 years.  He served 12 years before being released under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement; his conviction was later quashed.

John Downey

In 2013, John Downey was charged with four counts of murder in relation to the Hyde Park attack; his trial began in January 2014 but collapsed the following month after a ruling upon a letter sent to him by police assuring him that he would not be prosecuted over the attack.

No one has ever been charged in connection with the Regent’s Park bombing

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Hyde park London 1982 IRA bombing

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The attacks

Hyde Park bomb

 

U-shaped hedge enclosure surrounding an oblong slate plaque on a wedge-shaped plinth, with flowers laid at the bottom
Memorial in Hyde Park
Oblong slate plaque with inscriptions in gold, set into a low wall
Memorial in Regent’s Park

At 10:40 am, a nail bomb exploded in the boot of a blue Morris Marina parked on South Carriage Drive in Hyde Park.The bomb comprised 25 lb (11 kg) of gelignite and 30 lb (14 kg) of nails.

It exploded as soldiers of the Household Cavalry, Queen Elizabeth II‘s official bodyguard regiment, were passing. They were taking part in their daily Changing of the Guard procession from their barracks in Knightsbridge to Horse Guards Parade.

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Three soldiers of the Blues & Royals were killed outright, and another, their standard-bearer, died from his wounds three days later. The other soldiers in the procession were badly wounded, and a number of civilians were injured. Seven of the regiment’s horses were also killed or had to be euthanised because of their injuries.

Explosives experts believed that the Hyde Park bomb was triggered by remote by an IRA member inside the park.

 Anthony Daley, Simon Tipper & Roy Bright

The four men who died in the attack were Denis Anthony Daly (known as Anthony Daly), Simon Tipper, Vernon Young, and Raymond Bright (in hospital three days later).

The seven horses who died in the attack were Cedric, Epaulette, Falcon, Rochester, Waterford, Yeastvite, and Zara.

 

Regent’s Park Bomb

The second attack happened at about 12:55 pm,when a bomb exploded underneath a bandstand in Regent’s Park. Thirty Military bandsmen of the Royal Green Jackets were on the stand performing music from Oliver! to a crowd of 120 people.

It was the first in a series of advertised lunchtime concerts there.Six of the bandsmen were killed outright and the rest were wounded; a seventh died of his wounds on 1 August. The seven men who died were Graham Barker, Robert Livingstone, John McKnight, John Heritage, George Mesure, Keith Powell and Laurence Smith. At least eight civilians were also injured.

The bomb had been hidden under the stand some time before and triggered by a timer.  Unlike the Hyde Park bomb, it contained no nails and seemed to be designed to cause minimal harm to bystanders.

Aftermath

A total of 22 people were detained in hospital as a result of the blasts: 18 soldiers, a police officer, and three civilians. The IRA claimed responsibility for the attacks by deliberately mirroring Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher‘s words a few months before when Britain entered the Falklands War. They proclaimed that:

“The Irish people have sovereign and national rights which no task or occupational force can put down”.

Reacting to the bombing, Thatcher stated:

“These callous and cowardly crimes have been committed by evil, brutal men who know nothing of democracy. We shall not rest until they are brought to justice.”

The bombings had a negative impact on public support in the United States for the Irish republican cause.

Sefton, a horse that survived the attack at Hyde Park despite suffering serious wounds, became famous after appearing in many television shows and was awarded Horse of the Year.

Sefton_Horse_of_the_Year

Sefton’s rider at the time of the bombing, Michael Pedersen, survived but claimed to suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder; after splitting from his wife he committed suicide in September 2012 after killing two of his children.

A memorial marks the spot of the Hyde Park bombing and the troop honours it daily with an eyes-left and salute with drawn swords. A plaque commemorating the victims of the second attack also stands in Regent’s Park.

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Victims

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20 July 1982
Anthony Daly   (23)

nfNIB
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Ceremonial Cavalryman. Killed when remote controlled car bomb exploded while riding horse along South Carriage Drive, Hyde Park, London.

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20 July 1982
Simon Tipper   (19)

nfNIB
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Ceremonial Cavalryman. Killed when remote controlled car bomb exploded while riding horse along South Carriage Drive, Hyde Park, London.

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20 July 1982
Jeffrey Young  (19)

nfNIB
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Ceremonial Cavalryman. Killed when remote controlled car bomb exploded while riding horse along South Carriage Drive, Hyde Park, London.

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20 July 1982
Roy Bright  (36)

nfNIB
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Ceremonial Cavalryman. Injured when remote controlled car bomb exploded while riding horse along South Carriage Drive, Hyde Park, London. He died on 23 July 1982.

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20 July 1982
Graham Barker  (36)

nfNIB
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Bandsman. Killed when bomb exploded at bandstand, Regents Park, London.

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20 July 1982
Robert Livingstone  (31)

nfNIB
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Bandsman. Killed when bomb exploded at bandstand, Regents Park, London.

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20 July 1982
John McKnight   (30)

nfNIB
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Bandsman. Killed when bomb exploded at bandstand, Regents Park, London.

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20 July 1982
George Mesure   (19)

nfNIB
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Bandsman. Killed when bomb exploded at bandstand, Regents Park, London.

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20 July 1982


Keith Powell   (24)

nfNIB
Status: British Army (BA), K

illed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Bandsman. Killed when bomb exploded at bandstand, Regents Park, London

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20 July 1982
Laurence Smith  (19)

nfNIB
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Bandsman. Killed when bomb exploded at bandstand, Regents Park, London.

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20 July 1982
John Heritage  (29)

nfNIB
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Bandsman. Injured when bomb exploded at bandstand, Regents Park, London. He died on 1 August 1982

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Criminal proceedings

In October 1987, 27-year-old Gilbert “Danny” McNamee, from County Armagh, was sentenced at the Old Bailey to 25 years in prison for his role in the Hyde Park bombing and others, despite his plea that he was not guilty. In December 1998, shortly after his release from Maze prison under the Good Friday Agreement, three Court of Appeal judges quashed his conviction, deeming it “unsafe” because of withheld fingerprint evidence that implicated other bomb-makers. They stated that though the conviction was unsafe it did not mean McNamee was necessarily innocent of the charge.

 

On 19 May 2013, 61-year-old John Anthony Downey, from County Donegal, was charged with murder in relation to the Hyde Park bomb and intending to cause an explosion likely to endanger life. He appeared by videolink from Belmarsh prison for a bail hearing at the Old Bailey on 24 May and did not apply for bail so was remanded in custody.

At a hearing on 1 August 2013, Downey was granted conditional bail and a trial was scheduled for January 2014.

On 24 January 2014, Downey appeared at the Old Bailey for the beginning of his trial; he entered a not guilty plea on the four murder charges and the charge of intending to cause an explosion.

On 25 February 2014, it was revealed that Downey’s trial had collapsed after the presiding judge had ruled, on 21 February, upon a letter sent by the Police Service of Northern Ireland to Downey in 2007, assuring him that he would not face criminal charges over the attack. Although the assurance was made in error and the police realised the mistake, it was never withdrawn, and the judge ruled that therefore the defendant had been misled and prosecuting him would be an abuse of executive power.

Downey is one of 187 IRA suspects who received secret on-the-run letters guaranteeing them unofficial immunity from prosecution