27 August 1979: Lord Mountbatten was assassinated by the IRA on this day. He was blown up while sailing in his yacht at Mullaghmore, County Sligo. He was accompanied by members of his family and a local boy. Three of them were killed and others seriously injured. That same afternoon at Warrenpoint, County Down, the IRA killed 18 British soldiers, most of them members of the elite Parachute Regiment, in a double bomb attack. An innocent bystander on the Republic’s side of the border was also killed in retalitory fire by the Paras. The Paras were responsible for shooting dead 13 innocent Irishmen in Derry on ‘Bloody Sunday’ 30 January 1972.
This was the greatest loss of life suffered by the British during the Conflict and caused shock waves throughout the British Establishment and with the general British Public. The news of these events immediately spread around the World and made the North an International News story. Mountbatten, a great-grandson of Queen Victoria and uncle to Prince Charles was a very senior member of the British Royal Family. They felt his death at the hands of the IRA very keenly.
Soon after a grisly Graffiti appeared on Belfast walls. It read:
13 gone but not forgotten - we got 18 and Mountbatten