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Lord Louis Mountbatten

1979 - Assassination Pg 1

As part of her Palmerston inheritance, Mountbatten’s wife - Edwina, brought to the Mountbatten family the wonderful Classiebawn Castle, Mullaghmore, Co. Sligo, in the Republic of Ireland. The castle is a neo-Gothic Victorian mansion, considered by some to be ugly - but Mountbatten said of it that “no place had ever thrilled me more”, and from its strategic outlook over Donegal Bay, and to this day stands proud over the dramatic coastline it surveys.  Every year the family would spend August on holiday there, with carefree fishing onboard Mountbatten’s boat Shadow V, setting lobster pots and riding horses along the sandy beach. Although Mountbatten, was a high profile figure with considerable Royal connections - it was always thought that the threat of kidnap or violence to him was remote. He once said (modestly) - “Do you really think the IRA would think of me a worthwhile target?”  Mountbatten was wrong.  For the Irish Republican Army (IRA) indeed saw this grand old man a prime target and it was at their hands, that he was murdered. At exactly 11.45am on 27th August 1979, the peace of the Mountbatten family holiday, and the silence over the calm Donegal waters was broken with an explosion.


Classiebawn Castle,

Mullaghmore, Co. Sligo, Ireland



Mountbatten and his family onboard Shadow V

Mountbatten had set to sea in his 30 feet long wooden boat Shadow V with his eldest daughter Patricia (now the 2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma) (b.1924), her husband John (the 7th Lord Brabourne (1924-2005)), and his elderly mother - Doreen, The Dowager Lady Brabourne, CI (1896-1979).  They were joined by Mountbatten’s grandsons (who were identical twins of Patricia and John) - The Hon. Nicholas Knatchbull (1964-1979) and The Hon. Timothy Knatchbull (b.1964), and a young local lad acting as a crew member, Paul Maxwell (1964-1979).  


The family had gone to collect the lobster pots that they had set the previous day, but concealed beneath the decking was a plastic tube, 17 inches long, full of gelignite - which the IRA had planted some time before. Mountbatten’s boat was just 200 yards from shore when the IRA detonated their remote-controlled 50lb bomb. The boat disintegrated and countless fragments of wreckage showered down onto the water - Mountbatten (aged 79yrs) was killed immediately.


Mountbatten’s body was recovered

following the explosion


Mountbatten and his family

onboard Shadow V

1979 - Assassination 2