Belfast Telegraph

Prince Charles tells of 'anguish' at murder of his uncle Lord Mountbatten

By Harriot Crawford

Prince Charles spoke out yesterday about the devastation he felt at the IRA murder of his uncle Lord Mountbatten.

During a speech in Colombia, he told victims of the country's bloody 50-year civil war that he could sympathise with their "anguish" at losing loved ones.

The Prince of Wales was extremely close to the former Viceroy of India, who died in a bombing by the Provisional IRA in August 1979.

The group planted a bomb in his boat during a family fishing trip off Co Sligo.

At Bogota's Peace and Reconciliation Exhibition and Ceremony, he said: "I suspect that many of you will probably not know that my own much-loved great uncle, Lord Mountbatten, and members of his family including one of my godsons were murdered in Northern Ireland just over 30 years ago.

"So I feel I do understand something of the bewildering and soul-destroying anguish that so many of you have had to endure."

Charles referred to the peace process, saying: "Of course, as we have learnt in the UK from the Northern Ireland peace process and the Good Friday Agreement building conditions for peace takes time - and there are pitfalls along the way."

He added: "As one who has himself experienced the intense despair caused by the consequences of violence, it is my fervent hope that Colombians might find the strength to continue cultivating a commitment to peace and reconciliation in their own hearts."

Thomas McMahon, an experienced IRA bomb-maker, was convicted of the murders.

He was released from jail under the Good Friday Agreement after serving 18 years in jail.

Charles is currently on a four-day tour of Colombia with his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, which ends today.

Colombia is fighting one of the world's longest-running civil wars, which is thought to have claimed up to 250,000 lives.

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