IRA participant liable for damages in Hyde Park bombing


Re: Young v Downey [2019] EWHC 3508 (QB)

This claim arises from the bomb attack in Hyde Park on 20 July 1982, for which the Irish Republican Army (the IRA) claimed responsibility. The bomb, concealed in a car boot, was detonated as members of the Household Cavalry rode past on their regular route from the Knightsbridge Barracks to Horse Guards for the Changing of the Guard. The bomb killed four soldiers and injured 31 others.

The claim is brought on behalf of one of the deceased’s daughters, where she seeks damages for her own psychiatric harm and consequential loss and under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976. Further, she seeks aggravated and exemplary damages.

Held: The defendant was an active participant in the Hyde Park bombing which caused the death of the claimant’s father and the other soldiers. The defendant’s participation was part of a concerted plan aimed at killing or at least doing really serious harm to members of the Household Cavalry. As such, the claimant has established that the defendant is responsible as a joint tortfeasor for the unlawful killing of her father and she is therefore entitled to recover damages from him. The extent of those damages will be determined later.

Lord Brennan QC was involved in this case.