Friday 30 September 2016

'I hope prince finds solace' - mum who lost son in attack

Published 15/05/2015 | 02:30

Mary Hornsey from Helens Bay who lost her young son Paul who was killed at the same time as Lord Mountbatton in terrorist bomb explosion
Mary Hornsey from Helens Bay who lost her young son Paul who was killed at the same time as Lord Mountbatton in terrorist bomb explosion

A mother who lost her son in the IRA bomb which killed Lord Mountbatten says she hopes Prince Charles finds solace when he visits Ireland next week.

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He will make an emotional pilgrimage to Mullaghmore in Co Sligo, the scene of the 1979 attack that claimed the life of his great uncle.

Three other people died, including Paul Maxwell, a 15-year-old schoolboy from Enniskillen.

His mother, Mary Hornsey, said she believed the cross-border visit was another step towards reconciliation.

"Every step means something. Although sometimes it seems just small steps, small steps are better than no steps at all."

Mountbatten (79) was killed when the IRA blew up his boat off Mullaghmore on August 27, 1979.

His 14-year-old grandson Nicholas Knatchbull also died, along with Paul, who had been working as a boat-boy.

The Dowager Lady Brabourne, mother-in-law to Mountbatten's elder daughter, died of her injuries the following day.

Mountbatten was a much-loved mentor to the young Prince Charles, who was affected deeply by his death.

Ms Hornsey understands the emotional impact which Wednesday's visit to Mullaghmore is likely to have on him. "I think it is going to be very emotional for Prince Charles," she added.

"But I think it will be cathartic for him as well, and I hope that he will feel close to his great-uncle whom he loved and admired so much."

Paul's father, John Maxwell, still lives near Enniskillen.

He said: "I am in favour of anything which contributes to good relations between the two countries."

Irish Independent

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