Irish Man Charged Over 1982 London Car Bomb Attack in Hyde Park

A 61-year-old man from Ireland was charged with the murder of four British soldiers in a 1982 bombing in London’s Hyde Park by the Irish Republican Army.

John Downey, from County Donegal, Ireland, will appear at a London court today, the Metropolitan Police Service said in an e-mailed statement. Downey was arrested May 19 at Gatwick Airport, south of London, and remains in custody, police said.

Two explosions, which went off hours apart in Hyde and Regent’s Parks on July 20, 1982, killed 11 soldiers in total, according to reports at the time from the British Broadcasting Corp. Irish republicans, fighting against British rule in Ireland, carried out a series of terrorist attacks in England which was at its most violent from the 1970s to the 1990s.

“Downey is responsible for the improvised explosive device contained in a car parked in South Carriage Drive, London which resulted in the deaths of four members of the Royal Household Cavalry,” Sue Hemming, head of special crime and counter-terrorism at the Crown Prosecution Service, said in an e-mailed statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeremy Hodges in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at

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