An IRA man who escaped prison more than 50 years ago was given a royal pardon by Margaret Thatcher's government, official records from 1985 revealed.
Donal Donnelly fled Belfast's Crumlin Road jail - which he dubbed Europe's Alcatraz - on Boxing Day 1960 while serving a sentence for membership of the armed group during its 1950s border campaign.
Former Northern Ireland secretary Lord Hurd, part of a Conservative government scarred by republican violence, agreed to use the Royal Prerogative of Mercy in May 1985.
His decision was made ahead of landmark political talks on British co-operation with the Irish Government.
Afterwards Donnelly lived openly in the Irish Republic - and even wrote a book about his escape.