Families of Hyde Park and Regent’s Park victims demand justice 40 years later

The families of soldiers killed in the IRA bombings in Hyde Park and Regent’s Park have told how their suffering has not diminished 40 years later.

A total of 11 soldiers died in the two attacks that occurred within hours of each other in London on July 20, 1982.

Relatives of the victims will gather in Hyde Park on Wednesday for a remembrance ceremony and also discussed their ongoing fight for justice with politicians in Westminster this week.

Roy Bright, 36, Dennis Daly, 23, Simon Tipper, 19, and Jeffrey Young, 19 – all attached to the Household Cavalry – were killed by a car bomb as they drove through Hyde Park to attend the Changing of the Guard.

Seven horses had to be put down and another horse, Sefton, survived terrible injuries.

A High Court judge ruled in 2109 that John Downey was an “active participant” in the bombing and was jointly responsible with others for the attack.

In the second coordinated attack, seven soldiers exploded at the bandstand in Regent’s Park – Graham Barker, 36, John Heritage, 29, Robert Livingstone, 31, George Measure, 19, John McKnight, 30, Keith John Powell, 24, and Laurence Smith, 19. All were members of the Royal Green Jackets.

No one has ever been charged in connection with the Regent’s Park bombing.

Mark Tipper, whose brother was one of the soldiers killed in the 1982 Hyde Park IRA bombing (Philip Toscano/PA)

Mark Tipper, whose younger brother Simon would have turned 60 this year, recalled the tragic day.

He told the PA news agency: “It’s been so long. I was working for a plumber then. At the time, if you wanted race results, they came on Radio 2, so we had it.

“On one of the news bulletins they said there had been a bombing in London involving the Household Cavalry. It’s strange, but I knew straight away it was my brother.

Mr Tipper continued: ‘We were just a normal family and it destroyed us. My father started drinking a lot, my mother was broke. This causes a lot of anguish in families. I still get tips to this day.

Mr Tipper has criticized the government’s proposed legislation which aims to end prosecutions related to incidents of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

He said: “It seems to be in favor of the authors. What happens to the victims? What becomes of justice?

“I think we have to keep reminding people what happened. We have to keep that in the public eye. These guys lost their lives that day. We must never forget the victims of terrorism.

“These terrorists should answer for their crimes.

“Even if they can only serve two years, then put them in a cell for two years; they took away our loved ones for the rest of our lives.

Jeffrey Young was killed days before his 20th birthday in the Hyde Park bombing (Family handout/PA)

Jeffrey Young was killed days before his 20th birthday in the Hyde Park bombing (Family handout/PA)

Judith Jenkins Young was 20 when her husband Jeffrey was killed in Hyde Park, leaving two young daughters. She buried him on what would have been his 20th birthday.

She recalls: “I remember going to the barracks that day and seeing three of the dead soldiers.

“I remember being taken to the tower and seeing what happened where the bomb went off. I remember the smell.

“These things stay with you for the rest of your life. It never goes away.

She added, “Jeffrey was very athletic. He wanted to move forward in life. He comes from a mining background and always wanted to join the military. He chose the Household Cavalry because he enjoyed riding.

“The impact of what happened was terrible. Nothing will ever fix things.

“My youngest daughter, Louise, has no memory of her father. The eldest daughter Sarah-Jane had a lot of problems because of what happened.

“People deserve justice and their hurt will never heal until that happens.”

Keith Powell was killed in the Regent's Park bombing before meeting his second son (Family handout/PA)

Keith Powell was killed in the Regent’s Park bombing before meeting his second son (Family handout/PA)

Keith Powell’s wife was pregnant when he was killed in the Regent’s Park bombing. His second son, also called Keith, never met his father.

He said: “As a family, our suffering never ends.

“Our personal experiences are all different, however, all the families involved have one thing in common, and that is the time these brave men missed.

“I never knew my father because my mother was pregnant with me when he was taken from us. My brother was seven years old.

“He unknowingly began his journey to another life by greeting his first son who was wearing his Spider-Man costume through the rear window of a coach heading to London.

“It was the last memory my brother had of him.”

He added: “We must never forget. We never had real closure or justice.

“We are suffering in many ways, and to be frank, we have been let down by past and present governments.”

The families are supported by a victims’ group, the South East Fermanagh Foundation.

Director of Services Kenny Donaldson said: “Forty years later, we will join families on Wednesday in Hyde Park for a remembrance ceremony hosted by the Blues and Royals Regiment.

“We have no doubt that it will be a difficult day for the families of those murdered, but also for those who survived, but who suffer injuries and physical and psychological problems to this day.

“We will also connect with others affected by the coordinated attack on Regent’s Park.”

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