Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

MAN IS CHARGED WITH 1982 HYDE PARK BOMBING; GATWICK ARREST OVER IRA ATTACK THAT KILLED 4 SOLDIERS AND 7 HORSES; Suspect Held after Flight from Ireland

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

MAN IS CHARGED WITH 1982 HYDE PARK BOMBING; GATWICK ARREST OVER IRA ATTACK THAT KILLED 4 SOLDIERS AND 7 HORSES; Suspect Held after Flight from Ireland

Article excerpt

Byline: Justin Davenport Crime Editor

A MAN was charged today with the murder of four soldiers in the 1982 IRA bombing in Hyde Park.

John Downey, 61, of County Donegal, was held by police as he stepped off a plane at Gatwick on Sunday. He is accused of detonating a nail bomb, the first of two explosions that killed a total of 11 soldiers and seven Army horses.

Four members of the Royal Household Cavalry, the Blues and Royals, were killed when a bomb in a blue Austin was set off by remote control as they passed by on their daily route from their barracks to Buckingham Palace. The second device exploded under a bandstand in Regent's Park as the Royal Green Jackets played music from Oliver! to 120 spectators in a lunchtime concert.

Seven bandsmen died. Forty-seven civilians and soldiers were injured. The attacks were among the most devastating carried out by the Provisional IRA on the mainland.

Downey faces one count of murdering soldiers Roy Bright, Dennis Daly, Simon Tipper and Geoffrey Young with what the Crown Prosecution Service called today an "improvised explosive device".

He was also charged with intending to cause an explosion with intent to endanger life. Twenty three people were injured by the nail bomb on July 20, 1982 and several horses were hurt including Sefton, who survived despite 38 wounds, including a severed jugular vein.

Later a time-bomb hidden under the bandstand in Regent's Park killed the bandsmen and injured 24 of the audience. The crowd was peppered with shrapnel.

Downey had arrived at Gatwick on a flight from the Republic when he was detained. He was charged after being interviewed at a London police station and was due to appear before Westminster magistrates.

Sue Hemming, head of Special Crime and Counter-Terrorism at the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "The Met has been investigating the explosion near Hyde Park. …

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