Lord Louis Mountbatten assasinated by IRA
The 27th of August 1979 AD
Lord Louis Mountbatten never had a bodyguard, and choosing to spend one month of the year holidaying at his castle in County Sligo put him at grave risk of an IRA assassination plot. His movements were well-known to IRA operatives who used the north-western county as a safe haven at the height of their paramilitary campaign . At around 11.30 am , 27th of August, 1979, a bomb destroyed Lord Mountbatten’s boat, the Shadow V, killing him, his grandson, Lady Dowager, and a teenage deck hand from Fermanagh. The Provisional IRA immediately claimed responsibility.
Their statement read: “This operation is one of the discriminate ways we can bring to the attention of the English people the continuing occupation of our country.”
Just 24 hours later, the British Army’s barracks at Warrenpoint were attacked, and a massive explosion killed eighteen soldiers. These were remorseless times.
Lord Mountbatten was a soft target; at 79, he was an old man, and his high profile made him doubly vulnerable. He was the uncle of Prince Philip On the 5th September, Lord Mountbatten was given a state funeral, and was laid to rest at Romsey Abbey . Thomas McMahon, 31, was arrested by police under suspicion of driving a stolen car and was later charged for the bombing. He was found guilty on three counts of murder, and was released under the terms of the Good Friday Peace Agreement in 1998.
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