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The police’s blunder over John Downey is one thing, the government’s cravenness another

26 February 2014

4:00 PM

26 February 2014

4:00 PM

So, the IRA terror suspect, John Downey, will now not face a trial for his alleged involvement in the Hyde Park and Regent’s Park bombings of 1982, in which eleven soldiers (as well as seven horses) were murdered by nail bombs. The former Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain seems to be delighted about this and expressed his astonishment that Downey had been arrested in the first place. Downey mistakenly received a so-called ‘comfort letter’ as part of the Good Friday Agreement, informing him that he was now effectively immune from prosecution. For what it’s worth, Downey denies the charges.

It wasn’t a very good Friday, was it? I suppose we should be happy that most of the IRA content themselves these days with the black market cigarette trade, but there are still plenty of the rat-faced hooligans causing mayhem in Northern Ireland. Still, we should all be delighted that Peter Hain is happy.

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