Northern Ireland news

Spain clears ex-IRA duo of money crime

CONNLA YOUNG

Spain’s Supreme Court has quashed the convictions of two former IRA members found guilty of money laundering.

Husband and wife Donna Maguire and Leonard ‘Bap’ Hardy were convicted in 2019, having been arrested on the Canary Islands four years earlier.

Both were previously convicted in relation to a failed mortar attack on a British army barracks at Osnabruck, Germany, in 1989.

Maguire is originally from Newry and Hardy from Belfast. They are understood to have an address in Co Louth.

They were found guilty of laundering the profits from “illicit activity” through property purchases in the provinces of Alicante and Malaga totalling more than £850,000.

Their lawyers say the court found that evidence from British authorities “was not evidence which could be used in a Spanish court to ground a conviction”.

Last night Maguire said: “There was no evidence at any stage to substantiate the allegations they levelled against me and my family.

“We have spent the best part of seven years of our lives advocating our innocence and today’s judgment by the Supreme Court comes as vindication for me and my family.”

Their solicitor Darragh Mackin, of Phoenix Law, said: “The Supreme Court has been unequivocal.”

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