Belfast Telegraph

The Royal Prerogative and its beneficiaries

James McArdle: McArdle was the IRA man responsible for the 1996 Docklands bombing. Two people were killed in the bombing of Canary Wharf in 1996 which brought to an end the first IRA ceasefire. McArdle had been due to be released under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, but then Northern Ireland Secretary of State Peter Mandelson used the Royal Prerogative of Mercy to bring forward the bomber's release

Sean Braniff: Braniff was a member of an INLA gang captured in Dublin in 1995 taking part in a gun-running plot. At the time the INLA was continuing its campaign of violence despite the announcement of the first IRA ceasefire. Granted the Royal Prerogative of Mercy in 2000 because he had been transferred from jail in the Republic

Fergal Toal: Toal was a member of notorious terrorist Dessie 'The Border Fox' O'Hare's INLA gang. Toal held down kidnap victim John O'Grady's arms while two of his fingers were hacked off with a hammer and chisel. Pardoned in 2000 because he had been transferred from jail in the Republic.

Robert Campbell and Angelo Fusco: Two days before the end of their trial in 1981 for the killing of the SAS's Captain Herbert Westmacott, they shot their way out of the courthouse in Belfast's Crumlin Road

Daniel Keenan: Keenan was awaiting sentencing for explosives offences when he escaped from Crumlin Road Gaol in 1975. He was later jailed, but released from prison early.

Malachy McCann: McCann was the IRA's one-time director of purchasing, responsible for buying weapons and bringing them to Ireland. He was released early because his offence was not scheduled at the time it was committed

James Monaghan: Monaghan was once named as a senior IRA man by Peter Robinson in the Northern Ireland Assembly. He was one of three men who fled from Colombia where they had been arrested for training FARC rebels

Gerard Fryers: Fryers was among 38 prisoners who escaped in a food delivery van from the top security Maze jail in 1983. He remained at large for almost two decades before he was granted a pardon

Paul Magee: Magee escaped from Crumlin Road Gaol during his 1981 trial for killing Capt Westmacott. After serving a prison sentence in the Republic of Ireland, Magee fled to England where he was imprisoned after killing a policeman in 1992. He was repatriated to the Republic before being released from prison in 1999.

Gerard Anthony Sloan: Sloan was one of eight Provisional IRA prisoners who escaped from Crumlin Road prison in Belfast in 1981. The day after the escape Sloan was convicted of possession of an M60 machine gun and jailed for 20 years in his absence. He was later recaptured by gardaí and jailed for eight years. He successfully challenged attempts to extradite him to the North. In December 2000 he and the seven other members of the so-called 'M60 Gang' were given a royal pardon.

Hugh Clarke, SJ Clarke, Edward Campbell and Eugene Fanning: They were released from prison early as their offences were not registered as scheduled at the time they was committed

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph