Posted on August 28, 2019
In a statement at the time, the IRA said the killing of Lord Mountbatten was “one of the discriminate ways we can bring to the attention of the English people the continuing occupation of our country”. His 14-year-old grandson, Nicholas Knatchbull, and 15-year-old Paul Maxwell, a local boy who was working as a boatman, died when the boat exploded. Another passenger, the Dowager Lady Brabourne, died the following day. Paul Maxwell’s mother and father were among those who gathered for an outdoor service on Tuesday.
It was held on a clifftop overlooking the scene of the attack, and began with a minute’s silence.
Paul Maxwell’s mother, Mary Hornsey, said it was “absolutely wonderful that the community came out today”.
“It has helped us enormously because I feel that in the service there was love and support for our family, and we appreciate that,” she said. “I feel really privileged to be here, with all of these people.”
John Maxwell, Paul’s father, said it was “a great thing that so many people took the trouble to turn out”.
Lord Mountbatten, who was 79 years old when he was killed, had traditionally spent summer holidays at Classiebawn Castle near Mullaghmore.
As the news of Lord Mountbatten’s death spread in 1979, the first of two bombs exploded in County Down.
It had been planted under hay on a lorry at the side of the road. When it exploded it killed six soldiers who had been travelling past in a four-ton lorry.
“Time has moved on; it’s 40 years now, there is a huge distance time-wise between what happened, dreadful and all as it was. So it’s nice to see that the family is all here.”
At Narrow Water, the names of all those who died were read out and the Last Post was sounded. Gathered at the scene were the families and friends of those killed and soldiers. Among them was General Sir Michael Jackson, who had been a major in the Parachute Regiment at the time of the bombing.