30 September 2005

Fury over claim that IRA did not kill Mountbatten

Belfast Telegraph

By Staff Reporter
30 September 2005

A CONTROVERSIAL new book which claims that the IRA did not murder Lord Mountbatten has been dismissed as "nonsense".

The book, Terminate with Extreme Prejudice, by author Richard Belfield, claims that Lord Mountbatten, was killed by another terror group - the INLA.

The book also claims that since the early 1970s there was an agreement in place between the leadership of the IRA and the top brass of the Army in London that the Royal Family was 'off limits'.

But the book was dismissed as "nonsense" today by North Antrim Assembly member Ian Paisley jnr.

Cousin to the Queen, Lord Louis Mountbatten (79), was murdered on August 27, 1979, when a bomb exploded on his fishing boat near his holiday home at Mullaghmore, Sligo.

He was murdered on the same day that 18 soldiers were killed in a bomb attack near Warrenpoint in Co Down.

Terminate With Extreme Prejudice is published by Constable & Robinson and sets out to 'expose the assassination game, its killers and their paymasters'.

Author Richard Belfield is a London-based journalist and film maker.

He argues that throughout the Troubles there was continual dialogue between the Government and republican and loyalist paramilitaries - through back-channels and face-to-face meetings.

In the book he says: "In a round-table meeting British Army commanders warned their IRA counterparts that the Royal Family was off limits."

According to Belfield the IRA kept to this arrangement and were not responsible for the bomb which killed Mountbatten and three other people.

According to the author the Army's own internal investigation concluded that the bomb was identical in its key elements to those used by the INLA.

Belfield argues that because the attack at Warrenpoint happened on the same day that Lord Mountbatten was murdered it was unlikely that the IRA carried out both incidents.

He said the purpose of the Warrenpoint attack was to achieve a 'propaganda coup' but instead the IRA lost the 'PR war' as it was blamed on the 'cowardly assassination of a pensioner'.

He continued: "The internal British Army view was that they (the IRA) did not carry out two major operations on the same day and furthermore did not have enough skilled bombers to do both.

"However, at the time it suited their propaganda purposes to blame the IRA."

Rejecting the book's claims Mr Paisley said: "This is just an attempt to rewrite history. No student of history will buy into this nonsense."

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