High Court Grants Bail to Alleged IRA Bomber John Downey

Photo © Clare FM

The High Court has granted bail to alleged IRA bomber John Downey.

The 66 year old, who is originally from Saint Joseph’s Terrace in Kilrush, is wanted in Northern Ireland in connection with the 1972 Enniskillen bombings, which claimed the lives of two British soldiers.

Clare FM’s Gavin Grace reports:


Two soldiers from the Ulster Defence Regiment died when a car bomb went off in Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh in 1972 and in June, authorities in Northern Ireland decided to prosecute John Downey on two charges of murder and a charge of aiding and abetting an explosion.

Before the High Court in Dublin today, he applied for bail ahead of the hearing of an extradition application, which he intends to contest later this month.

Gardaí objected claiming he’s now a flight risk because of the gravity of the offences and the likely sentences if convicted.

But Mr. Downey’s barrister claimed he had no history of bench warrants and abided by all bail conditions when he was on trial in the Old Bailey in London for the alleged murders of four soldiers in the Hyde Park bombings in 1982.

That trial collapsed when it emerged Mr. Downey had been given a letter of immunity in 2007 – a letter that will again be used to fight his extradition.

Mr. Downey’s bail was set at €30,000 and he’ll be free to go as soon as he finds a second suitable person to put forward half that amount on his behalf.