IRA pub bomb in­mate was con­sid­ered for royal par­don

Daily Mirror - - NEWS - BY MICHAEL MCHUGH news@mir­

AN IRA prisoner in­volved in a deadly bomb at­tack on a pub was con­sid­ered for a royal par­don for ex­plo­sives con­vic­tions.

The move was dis­cussed dur­ing ex­tra­di­tion ne­go­ti­a­tions af­ter Bren­dan “Bik” McFar­lane es­caped from the Maze jail in 1983 and fled to The Nether­lands.

The IRA chief was serv­ing a life sen­tence for a 1975 bomb­ing at a Belfast bar, which killed five peo­ple.

Af­ter he was re­cap­tured in 1986, the North­ern Ire­land Of­fice de­bated ex­pung­ing some of his con­vic­tions un­der a Dutch court’s terms for re­turn­ing him to jail in the UK. His fel­low es­capee, Gerry Kelly, re­ceived a par­don for all his sen­tences as part of the Dutch deal. Files from 1986, re­leased by North­ern Ire­land’s Pub­lic Record Of­fice, state: “We should ac­cept McFar­lane on the con­di­tions set out by the Dutch. I as­sume ac­tion un­der the Royal Pre­rog­a­tive will be nec­es­sary to re­mit his sen­tences for the three con­vic­tions for ex­plo­sives.”

ES­CAPE Bren­dan McFar­lane

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