IRA man John Downey to finally face justice over Hyde Park bomb after families win legal aid
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IRA man John Downey to finally face justice over Hyde Park bomb after families win legal aid

THE families of four soldiers killed in the 1982 Hyde Park bombing have been granted legal aid to sue an IRA man who remains the main suspect.

Co. Donegal native John Downey, 66, was charged with murdering the men four years ago but the case against him collapsed at the Old Bailey in 2014.

The convicted IRA member had the case thrown out of court after producing a government letter, sent by former Prime Minister Tony Blair in error, which assured him he would never face arrest or prosecution.

Relatives of the four Royal Household Cavalrymen who died had their requests for legal aid rejected five times before the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) confirmed last night that funds would be awarded.

A LAA spokesman said: "We can confirm that legal aid has been awarded to families of the victims of the 1982 Hyde Park bombing.

"As with all funding decisions, we reviewed the application in accordance with the information provided and the legal aid regulations.

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"Our deepest sympathies remain with those affected by this atrocity."

Squadron Quartermaster Corporal Roy Bright, 36, Lieutenant Dennis Daly, 23, Trooper Simon Tipper, 19, and 19-year-old Lance Corporal Jeffrey Young all lost their lives after a car bomb exploded in South Carriage Drive on July 20, 1982.

A number of other servicemen were injured in the blast as they rode through Hyde Park to the Changing of the Guard.

Seven horses were also killed. An eighth, Sefton, survived but with horrific injuries.