Kinahan questions if on the run letters inquiry is a ‘victory’

Danny Kinahan MLA
Danny Kinahan MLA

An MLA who was the best man of one of soldiers killed in the Hyde Park bomb has questioned the effectiveness of the judge-led review ordered into the on the runs controversy.

Danny Kinahan (UUP, South Antrim), served in the Household Cavalry alongside Lieutenant Anthony “Denis” Daly, 23.

Lt Daly died in the explosion on July 20, 1982 alongside three others when a car bomb detonated as they rode to the Changing of the Guard.

The current on the run (OTR) crisis developed after a prosecution against a man charged with the attack collapsed.

John Downey, 62, from Donegal, denied murdering the soldiers.

The case against him ended because government officials mistakenly sent him an assurance letter in 2007, saying he was no longer a wanted man.

But the court proceedings brought focus on other letters sent to more than 180 republicans telling them the UK authorities were not seeking them.

Addressing an emergency Assembly debate on the OTR issue, Mr Kinahan questioned a claim by the DUP that the announcement by David Cameron of the review into the OTR scheme represented a “victory” for victims.

Mr Kinahan noted the Prime Minister’s own statement that the inquiry would focus on whether any other letters were sent in error.

The MLA suggested that was not enough.

“All we seem to be getting through this inquiry is something that is going to clear up misunderstandings,” he said. “Let’s get back to the rule of the law, let’s get back to a process which brings in justice.”