A unionist politician whose friend was murdered in the Hyde Park bomb last night told how he has been left “angered and appalled” after the prosecution of suspect John Downey collapsed.
UUP MLA Danny Kinahan had been best man at Blues and Royals Household Cavalry Lieutenant Anthony Daly’s wedding, which took place only weeks before the bomb.
He said revelations of a “monumental” blunder by the PSNI merited an investigation.
“All this brings everything back to me,” he said.
“You just try to put it to the back of your mind.
“I am just so angry and appalled that we can have a decision in our courts which puts process before judgment.
“I think that is completely wrong.
“What we need now is a huge investigation to see what else has been promised that we haven’t been told about.
“And why has this been offered to 187 on the runs? The thing gets bigger and bigger and it is a disgrace.”
Mr Kinahan was a serving officer in the Blues and Royals at the time of the Hyde Park bomb on July 20, 1982, along with Mr Daly.
He said: “We were all mates together and Anthony, then only 23, was one of my best friends.
“He was killed outright which was the only blessing.
“Corporal-Major Raymond Bright lived for three days after the bomb with no arms or legs.
“Anthony got married four weeks beforehand and I was his best man. We had a great friendship.
“After his wedding I went off on my exercise on the tanks and he went off on honeymoon.
“The next I heard was a message to ring base because something awful has happened.
“The thing about the regiment is that it is a team of friends working together who all had the same ethos.
“It was a huge loss to the Army and to me personally.”
According to Lost Lives, the huge compendium of deaths throughout the worst years of the Troubles, an inquest heard that troop commander Lieutenant Daly suffered a large wound to his chest and was hit by a number of nails.
Eleven soldiers died when the IRA set off bombs in two central London parks, killing four guardsmen in Hyde Park and seven bandsmen in Regent’s Park.
The Hyde Park bomb was aimed at cavalrymen on ceremonial duties while the Regent’s Park explosion was targeted at bandsmen staging a concert.