Man charged in deadly 1982 IRA bombing in London


A police convoy carrying suspected IRA bomber John Anthony Downey arrives at Westminster Magistrates Court on May 22, 2013 in London, England. John Anthony Downey, 61, of County Donegal, Ireland has been charged with the murder of four members of the Royal Household Cavalry in the 1982 IRA bombing in Hyde Park after his arrest at Gatwick Airport on Sunday.


Dan Kitwood

John Anthony Downey, 61, of County Donegal, Ireland was charged Wednesday in a 1982 Irish Republican Army (IRA) bombing in London's Hyde Park that killed four member of the Royal Household Cavalry.

Downey is accused of murdering Roy John Bright, Dennis Richard Anthony Daly, Simon Andrew Tipper and Geoffrey Vernon Young on July 20, 1982, as they rode from their barracks in Hyde Park to Buckingham Palace, where they were to carry out the Changing of the Guard for hundreds of waiting tourists. Seven horses were also killed and 23 other soldiers from the cavalry were injured by shrapnel.

Downey faces a charge of intending to cause an explosion likely to endanger life as well.

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"We have determined that there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and that these charges are in the public interest," said Sue Hemming, head of Special Crime and Counter-Terrorism at the Crown Prosecution Service.

"It is alleged that Downey is responsible for the improvised explosive device contained in a car...which resulted in the deaths of four members of the Royal Household Cavalry, Blues and Royals," Hemming continued.

Less than two hours after the Hyde Park bombing, a second explosion under a bandstand in London's Regent Park killed seven members of the Royal Green Jackets military band.

While Downey is only implicated in the first bombing, the IRA claimed responsibility for both explosions.

The Hyde Park attack came just over a year after IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands died in Maze Prison.