Mountbatten book author seeks more transparency over child sex allegations
The author of a book on Lord Mountbatten has hit out at the secrecy that continues to surround allegations about the murdered royal and child sex abuse at a time when the public is demanding greater openness over such claims.
Andrew Lownie lashed out at both the British and Irish states for refusing to publish files which he claims tell the truth about the exploitation of young, vulnerable boys in Kincora House by the powerful and mighty in society in the 1970s.
He contrasted demands for transparency and the public interest in recent allegations about Prince Andrew and the wall of official silence that surrounds persistent claims about Mountbatten.
He said: "Why do we never hear the same demands for disclosure about the cover-up of Lord Mountbatten's death and the involvement of the state in suppressing the trafficking and sexual exploitation of young boys from London and Kincora House?"
Earlier this year Mr Lownie published a best-selling book on Lord Mountbatten in which he interviewed several men who claimed to have been trafficked from Belfast - including from Kincora House - as young boys to the royal's Classiebawn Castle in Co Sligo in August 1977.
So far the Garda has refused to disclose its traffic logs for Northern Ireland-registered cars visiting Classiebawn on the grounds such files remain part of an active murder investigation.
Mr Lownie had wanted access to the files so that he could pursue enquiries into the alleged trafficking of boys to provide sexual services to Mountbatten in the 1970s while on his annual August holiday.
Mr Lownie said that his request refers only to the month of August 1977, a year when it is already publicly acknowledged that there was no murder attempt on Lord Mountbatten, who was killed by an IRA bomb on his boat in August 1979.
The royal was killed along with Paul Maxwell, a 15-year-old helping crew the boat; Nicholas Knatchbull (14), Mountbatten's grandson, and Dorothy Brabourne, Nicholas's grandmother.
Prince Andrew has stood down from all public duties after he was criticised for showing little sympathy with the victims of the late Jeffrey Epstein and no remorse for his friendship with the disgraced US financier in a major TV interview.
Virginia Giuffre, an alleged Epstein victim, claims that she was forced to have sex with Andrew on three occasions, including when she was 17 - allegations he strenuously denies.
Mr Lownie said the duke's recent retirement from public life in the wake of the scandal has been described as "an event unprecedented in modern times".
He added: "Yet Mountbatten and many, many others in Northern Ireland and the UK in the past had sex with young boys and girls going right back to the 1970s and earlier. That was all swept under the carpet while the rich and powerful sheltered under the protection of the state.
"Surely the Mountbatten affair should be ruled by exactly the same decisions on disclosure?"
Mr Lownie warned that there must be deep concerns about the real reason Lord Mountbatten was killed in 1979.
"This is a wonderful opportunity for outgoing Secretary of State Julian Smith to question the official secrecy and non-disclosure of all the files, not just those on the trafficking of young boys in Northern Ireland, but the very detailed and specific intelligence files held by both British and Irish states," he said.
Many of the State's Kincora files will not be published until January 1, 2085 at the earliest. That is despite the fact that allegations about Kincora and the abuse and trafficking of young boys were first known to the intelligence services in 1967.
Colin Wallace, the Co Antrim-born former Army intelligence officer in Northern Ireland until 1975, also believes that it is time for the state to come clean.
He said: "Given the fact that the British intelligence services were well aware of what was going on in Kincora, there are major questions to be asked over why there were no prosecutions.
"Lord Mountbatten's homosexuality and his penchant for sex with underage boys was an open secret at the same time.
"And when you take in the fact that the IRA was heavily infiltrated by the state well before 1978, is it not odd that the attack on Mountbatten, which was sanctioned by the Army Council under the leadership of Martin McGuinness as chief of staff, was not known to them?"