Belfast Telegraph

Gerry Adams defends Lord Mountbatten killer

By Philip Ryan

Gerry Adams has defended the involvement of Lord Louis Mountbatten's murderer in Sinn Fein's election campaign.

Tommy McMahon – the only person convicted for the IRA attack in 1979 – was described as making a "valued" contribution to the party's election campaign.

McMahon served almost 20 years in prison for the bomb attack on Lord Mountbatten and his family while they were on fishing trip off the Sligo coast.

The explosion claimed the life of Lord Mountbatten's 14-year-old grandson Nicholas Knatchbull and 15-year-old Paul Maxwell, who was working on the boat.

Another passenger on the boat, Lady Brabourne (82), died of her injuries the following day.

Paul Maxwell's father John yesterday said he did not want to comment on McMahon but friends of the family said they found his involvement "distasteful".

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin yesterday said Mr Adams' support for the IRA killer was a "slap in the face" for the victims of the murders.

Mr Martin said: "Mr Adam's defence of a colleague who killed a 14 and a 15-year-old child is particularly shocking."

Asked if he would like to distance himself from the killer, Mr Adams said he "values the contribution of every single republican".

"We are glad to have every single person who believes in a united Ireland, peacefully and democratically reached, to work with us," he said.

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