Mountbatten family and Narrow Water troop deaths commemorated 40 years on from IRA killings
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Mountbatten family and Narrow Water troop deaths commemorated 40 years on from IRA killings

THE IRA killings of Lord Louis Mountbatten along with several members of his extended family and 18 British soldiers have been remembered, on the 40th anniversary of one of the bloodiest days of the Troubles.

Lord Mountbatten died when republicans watching from the shore at Mullaghmore remotely detonated a bomb hidden aboard his fishing boat Shadow V in Co Sligo on Monday, August 27, 1979.

Second cousin of Queen Elizabeth II and mentor to both Prince Charles and Prince Edward, Lord Mountbatten was one of four people killed in the explosion.

His 14-year-old grandson Nicholas Knatchbull, 15-year-old crew member Paul Maxwell and the Dowager Lady Brabourne also passed away in the attack.

Just a few hours later, the IRA struck again, detonating two bombs at Narrow Water close to Warrenpoint in Co Down in an attack that killed 18 British soldiers.

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A 29-year-old man, William Michael Hudson who was visiting from London, was also killed by a stray bullet that came from the British troops on the southern side of the border where the two bombs exploded.

Their deaths were all remembered on the anniversary in separate ceremonies held 40 years on from the bombings.

A special cross-community memorial prayer service took place in Mullaghmore, with Maxwell’s parents in attendance.

The service, conducted by Church of Ireland archdeacon Isaac Hanna, included a moment’s silence for those who died.

A special service and wreath-laying ceremony was also held on the banks of the Newry River where the 18 British soldiers and UK civilian were killed.

It was attended by more than 200 veterans, politicians, local people and survivors of the atrocity with DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson, DUP MLA Jim Wells and former UUP MLA Danny Kennedy joined by the former head of the British army General Mike Jackson.

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The names of those Parachute Regiment and Queen's Own Highlanders members killed in the blasts were read out before wreaths was laid out.

Speaking to RTE, the mother of 15-year-old victim Paul Maxwell, Mary Hornsey recalled the horror of the situation that unfolded.

"They talk about Bloody Sunday, we also had a Bloody Monday," Mrs Hornsey said.

"There were 18 soldiers at Warrenpoint who were killed, and then the Mountbatten tragedy.

"We're inclined to forget that, forget about all those soldiers, so many of them were young. It was absolutely appalling, and all those parents, it's very sad.”

"It was just awful, the whole thing thinking that men had watched these young teenagers getting on a boat, they knew that and quite intentionally they pressed that button and killed them, children."

"I think people can be brainwashed and I think they must have been brainwashed in order to do these dreadful things."

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Read the full RTE interview with Mrs Hornsey here.