History

From the Vaults: The Times, October 13, 1984

Of all the terrorist actions in Britain in the last 50 years, apart from the particularly gruesome 7/7 bombings in 2005, many that stand out were committed by the IRA.  Particularly memorable was the bomb attack on the Grand Hotel in Brighton at 2.54am on October 12, 1984, where the then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, and many leading Conservatives were staying for the Conservative Party Conference that took place that week.

This act of terrorism was not only supported by IRA activists, it was excused by some communists. Writing on this blog on June 13, 2005, anti-Zionist activist and communist Tony Greenstein declared: “The attack on Thatcher by the IRA was obviously legitimate. She was a military target.”

Below I enclose an extract from a front page article in The Times the day after this horrific event.

Tebbit and Chief Whip hurt amid falling rubble

Alan Hamilton

The Times, October 13, 1984, p.1.

At least three people [it was in fact five people], including one conservative MP and the wife of another died yesterday in the bomb attack which devastated the headquarters of the Conservative Party Conference in Brighton, brought death perilously close to the Prime Minister and many members of her Cabinet….

Thirty-two people, some of whom had been buried in the rubble for up to six hours, were taken to the Royal Sussex Hospital in Brighton. Among the 18 still detained last night were Mr Tebbit, who was recovering after an operation for a broken ribs and leg injuries but who was reported to have no serious internal injuries: his wife Margaret, who was buried in the rubble with him while they slept and suffered back injuries and Mr John Wakeham who was reported to have extensive injuries.

Fireman battled under arc lights for four hours to rescue Mr Tebbit, and for a further two hours to extricate Mr Wakeham.

It was 2.54am, while many guests were still up and milling in the hotel lobby, and Mrs Thatcher was still awake in her first-floor suite working on her keynote speech to yesterday’s conference that the 20lb bomb, thought to have been triggered by a timing device, exploded in a fifth-floor front facing room of the eight-story, 178 room Grand Hotel, on the seafront next door to the Brighton conference centre.

The blast cut a slice four storeys deep in the front central portion of the building and sent an avalanche of rubble cascading down the main stairwell. Mrs Thatcher’s bathroom, which she had visited only moments before, was wrecked and windows and mirrors in her bedroom was shattered. ….

The [Provisional IRA] said that they had detonated a 100lb gelignite bomb “against the British Cabinet and the Tory warmongers.” The statement… continued: “Thatcher will now realize that Britain cannot occupy our country, torture our prisoners and shoot people in their own streets and get away with it.

“Today we were unlucky. But remember, we have only to be lucky once: you will have to be lucky always. Give Ireland peace and there will be no war.”….

Early yesterday Mrs Thatcher and her party managers determined that the conference should go ahead in spite of the disaster. When the Prime Minister walked into the hall at 9.30 in the morning she received a standing ovation from delegates.

The IRA certainly had their supporters in Northern Ireland. Below is a video of a song supporting the IRA. The vulgar language used in the song pales into insignificance compared to the vulgar pro IRA message.

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