This is a more solemn anniversary. It’s 30 years since Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness’s IRA tried to assassinate Margaret Thatcher – in Brighton.
It is 30 years since the Brighton bomb ripped through The Grand Hotel killing five people and seriously injuring 34 others. The intended target of the IRA terrorist attack was Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her Tory Cabinet, who were staying at the hotel during the Conservative Party conference.
But while Mrs Thatcher and her husband Denis narrowly escaped injury, others who were caught up in the explosion at 2.53am on October 12 1984 were not so fortunate. Former Tory minister Lord Tebbit, the then trade and industry secretary, was severely injured in the blast and his wife Margaret was left paralysed from the neck down and needing 24-hour care. I think about it every day in the sense that I look at my wife who was sentenced to life imprisonment in a wheelchair,” he said.
Lord Tebbit also says he has nothing but contempt for bomber Patrick Magee who was handed eight life sentences at the Old Bailey in 1986, with a recommendation he serve a minimum of 35 years. He was released in 1999 under the Good Friday Agreement – having served 13 years for the crime.
Lord Tebbit said: “Magee is just a low creature and an object of contempt, particularly as he now tries to make something of a living out of talking about it. He was no more than a monkey on an organ grinder’s organ.”
What is even more poignant is the way in which those murderous terrorist godfathers behind this are permitted to preen and posture as men of peace when their victims still suffer!