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IRA's Bomber Magee helps create play about Brighton hotel attack

By Rebecca Black

Published 16/04/2015

Patrick Magee
Patrick Magee

One of the IRA's most savage attacks has been turned into a play - and the bomber himself is a script consultant.

Five people died in the bombing of the Grand Hotel in Brighton during the Conservative Party Conference in 1984 and 31 others were left with serious injuries.

Convicted bomber Patrick Magee (63) advised the script writers of the play, which is taking place at the Cockpit Theatre in London this week.

However, he reportedly insisted during the writing process that he would not talk about "operational matters".

The play called, The Bombing of the Grand Hotel, features the events surrounding the attempt to assassinate Margaret Thatcher and her Cabinet.

Magee has since forged a friendship with Jo Berry, whose father Tory MP Sir Anthony Berry was killed in the explosion.

Both helped the writers of the play.

The unlikely pair set up the Building Bridges for Peace charity 13 years ago.

Ms Berry said she feels the play "communicates my message well", adding: "I think it is going to be very positive".

Writers Josie Melia and Julie Everton praised Magee's contribution.

"Pat has areas he was not going to talk about but we worked around that. He wouldn't talk about what he called operational issues," Ms Melia said

The play had its launch at the Cockpit Theatre yesterday, just over 30 years since the bomb which was aimed at killing then PM Margaret Thatcher.

A statement from the play's representatives defended Magee's involvement: "The Bombing of the Grand Hotel is clearly framed as the story of the triggers and events that lead to terrorism and that can lead to terrorism.

"The project does not endorse terrorism nor the work of Patrick Magee for the IRA."

It is understood Mr Magee was not paid for his contribution.

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