In the space of 24 hours more than £3,000 has been raised to fund a private prosecution against the IRA member believed to be behind the Hyde Park bombing.
The campaign was launched on Monday via The Sun newspaper and also received prominent coverage from a number of other media outlets including the News Letter.
Several people have already made single donations of £100.
Mark Tipper, whose brother Simon was one of four soldiers murdered on July 20, 1982 when a huge nail bomb was detonated as they rode on horseback through Hyde Park, was very pleased with the initial response but said “now the hard work begins”.
He said: “We’ve raised over £3,000 in 24 hours but we need to raise an awful lot more if we’re going to hit our target.”
As well as thanking the media for their coverage – in particular The Sun who launched the campaign on its front page – Mr Tipper said the families were “very grateful” for the support of UUP MP Danny Kinahan, who was best man to Lieutenant Anthony Daly who was also murdered at Hyde Park.
He added: “Our overall target is £640,000 to see the trial to its conclusion. To put this amount into perspective, the Bloody Sunday Inquiry, which concluded that British soldiers were responsible for the deaths of 13 people, cost an estimated £400 million.
“The expense of bringing Downey to trial, and establishing the truth of who and what was responsible for the massacre of four British soldiers, is just 0.2% of the cost of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry. This is nothing in comparison.”