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Police investigating 'six key IRA suspects' who received on-the-run letters

As many as 200 republicans received these letters.

File photo of the Regent's Park Bandstand Bomb, that killed six people.
File photo of the Regent's Park Bandstand Bomb, that killed six people.
Image: PA Archive/Press Association Images

SIX IRA SUSPECTS who were previously told they would not face questioning by authorities are now reportedly being investigated by police in the United Kingdom.

According to documents seen by The Sunday Telegraph, the six were involved in the so-called On The Runs scheme, where members of the IRA suspected of committing crimes would not be sought by police.

As many as 200 republicans received these ‘comfort letters’ under a controversial scheme by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The case against John Downey, who was accuessed of carrying out the 1982 Hyde Park bombing, was previously thrown out of court after it was revealed he had been issued one of these letters in error, and had relied on it to travel to the United Kingdom.

The paper today reports that police believe the letters do not offer legal protection against prosecution, and will be perusing cases against a number of former ‘key’ IRA suspects.

These could include suspects for some of the worst atrocities of the Troubles.

Read: Enda Kenny – Yes, the Irish government knew about Hyde Park bomb deal >

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Nicky Ryan

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