Brighton bombing: Most audacious terrorist attack in history of IRA
The Brighton bombing was the most audacious terrorist attack in the history of the IRA.
At 2.53am on October 12 1984, a huge explosion ripped through the front of The Grand Hotel.
The 100lb bomb was intended to kill Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher — who was working on her conference speech at the time and narrowly escaped injury — and destroy her Cabinet, whose members were staying there during the Conservative Party conference. Five people were killed and 34 seriously injured, including former Tory minister Lord Tebbit and his wife Margaret.
Afterwards, the IRA issued a statement that read: “Today we were unlucky, but remember, we only have to be lucky once; you will have to be lucky always. Give Ireland peace and there will be no war.”
Bomber Patrick Magee was handed eight life sentences at the Old Bailey in 1986, with a recommendation he serve a minimum of 35 years, but he was released in 1999 under the Good Friday Agreement — having served 13 years for the crime.