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Police reopen investigation Airey Neave murder

The scene of the booby-trap bomb in London that claimed Airey Neave's life in 1979
The scene of the booby-trap bomb in London that claimed Airey Neave's life in 1979
Conservative MP Airey Neave
Home Secretary Sajid Javid

By Gillian Halliday

A police investigation has been reopened into the INLA assassination of Tory MP Airey Neave following a campaign by a DUP MP to have the case re-examined.

Scotland Yard is following up on "new work" in relation to the murder of Mr Neave 40 years ago.

The development, which was reported yesterday by the Sunday Times, comes after the DUP's Jeffrey Donaldson lobbied the Government in a bid to bring those responsible for Mr Neave's killing to justice.

Last month he wrote to UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid in a bid to have the case reopened in order to ensure terrorists responsible for Troubles killings do not escape justice.

The fresh bid was prompted by the controversial decision by the Public Prosecution Service to charge Soldier F with two murders in connection to Bloody Sunday.

Conservative MP Airey Neave was fatally wounded when a booby-trapped vehicle he was being driven in exploded as he was being driven from the House of Commons underground car park on March 30, 1979.

His murder sent shockwaves through the political establishment and was later admitted by the INLA.

Before his untimely death at the age of 63, the Second World War hero was shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland under Margaret Thatcher and was poised to occupy the role proper.

Sir Jeffrey has previously described the killing of Mr Neave as an "assault on democracy in the United Kingdom".

"In the wake of the decision to prosecute a member of the Parachute Regiment for the shootings in Londonderry, it highlights again the need for the Government to be proactive in pursuing those who were responsible for terrorist murders," he said.

Specifically he appealed for Mr Javid to outline what steps the UK is taking to extradite a suspect in the Tory MP's murder from Spain.

In March it emerged that an INLA fugitive believed to be connected to the 1979 killing is running a Celtic-themed pub on the popular Spanish tourist island of Majorca. Harry Flynn (65), who was named in court in 1982 as chief of the INLA, now runs the Celts Well pub in Santa Ponsa.

The establishment reportedly flies the terror group's emblem and has memorabilia glorifying republican terrorists on open display.

Flynn was in the INLA from 1975 and that same year he was charged with stealing £3,500 in an armed bank robbery in Belfast.

The following year he escaped from the Maze Prison before his trial.

Five years later he was caught rioting in Dublin and was jailed for 18 months.

He was sentenced to five years in France in 1986 for illegally importing £70,000 of weapons.

Britain tried to extradite him in 1987 but failed as his crime was deemed political.

He is believed to have been living in Santa Ponsa since around 1998.

According to the Sunday Times, Mr Flynn could be questioned in connection to the murder.

The newspaper also reported that the bar landlord refused to comment on his activities with the INLA.

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