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Sinn Féin calls for John Downey release

22 May, 2013 - by Gerry Kelly


Commenting on the arrest and decision to charge Donegal Republican John Downey in connection with an IRA bomb in London in 1982, Sinn Féin Assembly member Gerry Kelly said;

“John Downey is a member of Sinn Féin and a long time supporter of the Peace Process. The decision to arrest and charge him in relation to IRA activities in the early 1980s is vindictive, unnecessary and unhelpful. It will cause anger within the Republican community.

“Clearly if John Downey had been arrested and convicted previously he would have been released under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

“As part of the Weston Park negotiation the British Government committed to resolving the position of OTRs. John Downey received a letter from the NIO in 2007 stating that he was not wanted by the PSNI or any British Police Force. Despite travelling to England on many occasions now six years on he finds himself before the courts on these historic charges.

“This development represents bad faith and a departure from what was previously agreed by both governments.

“John Downey needs to be released and allowed to return home to his family.” ENDS

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