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Hyde Park bomb justice campaign backed by Northern Ireland MP Kinahan

By Jonny Bell

Families of soldiers killed in the IRA bombing in London's Hyde Park have launched a campaign to take a civil legal action against a former suspect in the attack.

Launching a bid to raise £650,000 needed for a civil court case, relatives of two of the four members of the Royal Household Cavalry who died in the 1982 blast told The Sun they wanted "justice" for their loved ones.

UUP MP Danny Kinahan was the best man at the wedding of Lieutenant Anthony Daly - whom he had served alongside in the Blues and Royals regiment - just four weeks before the officer's death in the attack.

“The ruling that the victims’ families were not granted legal aid to fund a civil case against John Downey, unbelievably because it was not deemed to be in the public interest, added further anguish. I have previously called for the Government to step in and provide legal aid to the families, which they have refused to do.

“The families deserve the right for Downey to be held to account in a court of law over the murder of their loved ones, and I urge everyone to get behind this campaign so justice can be done.”

Convicted IRA member John Downey was charged four years ago with the murders, which he denied, but the prosecution at the Old Bailey collapsed in 2014.

The case against the Co Donegal man was ended because government officials mistakenly sent him a letter in 2007, as part of a controversial On The Runs (OTRs) scheme, telling him he was no longer a wanted man.

Sarah Jane Young, daughter of Lance Corporal Jeffrey Young, who was 19 when he was killed, has filed a civil claim at London's High Court against Mr Downey, the newspaper said.

"I commend Sarah Jane Young and Mark Tipper for their tireless campaigning. As they have made clear this is about ‘principle not punishment'.

“The fact that John Downey, the chief suspect, was able to walk free from court in 2014 because he was in possession of a so-called ‘comfort letter’ sent to ‘on the run’ IRA terrorists, was a clear distortion of the justice system."

The car bomb left in South Carriage Drive killed Squadron Quartermaster Corporal Roy Bright, 36, Lieutenant Anthony Daly, 23, Trooper Simon Tipper, 19, and Lance Corporal Young and injured others as they rode through Hyde Park to the changing of the guard.

Seven horses were also killed as the soldiers travelled from their barracks to Buckingham Palace. Another horse, Sefton, survived terrible injuries.

Backing the claim Mark Tipper, an older brother of Trooper Simon Tipper, told The Sun: "If we can get this man before the courts in some way, it will show the British public at least still believes in justice.

"We've been let down again and again by the authorities over the past 35 years and, if I'm honest, at times we've almost given up hope.

"We just want to get justice for them, no matter how long that takes."

They have set an initial target of £150,000. Writing on the Crowd Justice fundraising page, Mark Tipper added: "The lives of my family and other victims’ families have been ripped apart by what happened that day. The pain and suffering for all of us continues because we have been repeatedly let down by our Government.

"To meet our target would be incredible."

Donations can be made online or in your bank using these bank details: Sort code 18-00-02, and account number 04507118.  Cheques can be sent to : Hyde Park Justice Campaign, Fourth Floor, 158 Buckingham ­Palace Road, London, SW1W 9TR. Any money left over will be donated to other legal actions for serving members of the Armed Forces or victims of terrorism and their families.

You can follow the campaign on Facebook and Twitter.

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