| 12.8°C Belfast

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

Close

Murdered: Lord Mountbatten

Murdered: Lord Mountbatten

Murdered: Lord Mountbatten

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.

Belfast Telegraph