Northern Ireland news

Sinn Fein leader says she is 'sorry' about IRA murder of Lord Mountbatten and teenagers

Lord Louis Mountbatten - the Queen's cousin - who was murdered by the IRA with a bomb on his fishing boat off the west coast of Ireland. Picture by PA Wire

SINN Féin president Mary Lou McDonald has said she is sorry about the IRA's 1979 murder of Lord Mountbatten and two teenage boys.

She told Times Radio yesterday that she was "happy" to confirm her "absolute commitment and an absolute responsibility to ensure that no family faces that again", but stressed the British armed forces "carried out many, many violent actions on our island".

Lord Mountbatten was visiting his Mullaghmore summer home in Co Sligo, when his wooden fishing boat was blown up by an IRA bomb - killing him, his 14-year-old grandson and 15-year-old Co Fermanagh boat boy Paul Maxwell immediately.

His daughter's 83-year-old mother-in-law died from her injuries the next day.

The IRA described the bombing as "a discriminate act to bring to the attention of the English people the continuing occupation of our country".

The day after the funeral of Lord Mounbatten's nephew the Duke of Edinburgh, Ms McDonald was asked by presenter Tom Newton-Dunn if she would apologise to Prince Charles for the murder of his godfather.

John Maxwell and Mary Hornsey with their daughter Lisa McKean after leaving a wreath to their son Paul Maxwell who was killed when Lord Mountbatten's boat was blown up, by the IRA, off the coast of Mullaghmore. Picture by Liam McBurney/PA Wire

"The army and the armed forces associated with Prince Charles carried out many, many violent actions on our island and I can say of course I am sorry that that happened," she replied.

"Of course that is heartbreaking and my job, and I think that Prince Charles and others would absolutely appreciate this, my job is to lead from the front, now, in these times.

"And I believe it's all of our jobs to ensure that no other child, that no other family, irrespective of who they are face the kind of trauma and heartbreak that was all too common sadly on all sides, let me emphasise - on all sides on this island and beyond.

"I want to make sure and I have an absolute commitment and an absolute responsibility to ensure that no family faces that again and I'm happy to reiterate that at the time and on the weekend that your queen buried her beloved husband."

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