Belfast Telegraph

I warned superiors about bomb threat to Mountbatten, claims ex-soldier

By Allan Preston

A former soldier has said his warnings of an IRA threat were ignored three weeks before the 1979 murder of Lord Mountbatten in Co Sligo.

Speaking out for the first time in nearly 40 years, Graham Yuill (59), claimed that in his former role as a military policeman he had carried out a security audit of Lord Louis Mountbatten, who was on holiday at his summer residence in Ireland.

Mr Yuill said he identified Lord Mountbatten's boat as the most likely target for an IRA attack, and that he had observed a car with a Belfast licence plate multiple times on the quayside.

He claimed this car contained the IRA terrorist who detonated the bomb by remote control.

Speaking to the Sunday Express from his Glasgow home, Mr Yuill said his security assessment was rejected by superiors.

"I would have saved Mountbatten had I not been removed from my post just three weeks before," Mr Yuill claimed. Lord Mountbatten (79) died on the morning of August 27, 1979 when his boat exploded near Mullaghmore harbour. The bomb was placed on board in darkness by IRA man Thomas McMahon.

The royal's grandson Nicholas Knatchbull (14), and Paul Maxwell (15) from Enniskillen, who worked on the boat, were also killed. A fourth passenger, Lady Doreen Brabourne, died the next day.

Then aged 21, Mr Yuill was with the SAS-trained 177 Provost company, an elite Army close protection unit. He was the bodyguard of Major General David Miller, then head of the UDR. When his charge left Ireland on compassionate leave in July, Yuill was tasked with protecting Lord Mountbatten.

"It was pretty clear the weak point would be his boat, the Shadow V, which was moored in a public quay. It wasn't protected - anyone could gain access to it. It wasn't even guarded. Mountbatten was a creature of habit. I'd see him go out at 11.30am on most mornings. I warned that planting a bomb under floorboards was a real possibility."

He added that the presence of the Belfast-registered car on the quayside had been a key concern.

"I was looking forward to the challenge of protecting Lord Mountbatten through August but just before the end of the month, I was called into the office by my regimental sergeant major.

"I began to discuss how the timing for an attack was just right after recent warnings. But he ushered someone else into the room - an intelligence officer.

"I was told the Garda would be looking after Mountbatten and my services were no longer required," he commented.

Belfast Telegraph

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