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Donegal man to appear in court over 1972 UDR murders

DONEGAL man John Downey will appear before the High Court in Dublin this afternoon over his alleged involvement in the murder of two Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) soldiers in Enniskillen more than 40 years ago.

The 66-year-old is also being held on suspicion of aiding and abetting an explosion.

Lance Corporal Alfred Johnston and Private James Eames died when a device exploded in a car they were checking on the Irvinestown Road, Cherrymount, Enniskillen in 1972.

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The arrest was made yesterday under a European Arrest Warrant as part of a joint operation with the PSNI.

Donegal man John Downey.

Mr Downey’s trial on charges linked to the 1982 London Hyde Park bombing which killed four soldiers and seven horses collapsed in February 2014. He had been mistakenly sent a government letter saying he was not wanted for questioning by police when in fact there was an outstanding warrant against him. The full scale of the scheme involving other republican paramilitary On The Run suspects then emerged.

Confirming John Downey’s arrest last night, a spokesman for the Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland said: “Following careful consideration of all available evidence, a decision has been taken to prosecute one person for the offence of murder and for aiding and abetting the causing of an explosion.

“Extradition proceedings were initiated in the High Court in Dublin on Monday November 5, to seek the extradition of one man from the Republic of Ireland for trial in Northern Ireland.

“One man was subsequently arrested in County Donegal this evening and is due to appear in court in Dublin tomorrow.”

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