Terror Attack Brighton: Blowing up the Iron Lady

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Pen and Sword, Oct 30, 2014 - Political Science - 244 pages
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The Brighton bombing in 1984 was the most audacious terrorist attack ever on the British Government. Certainly it was the most ambitious since the Gunpowder plot of 1605. The Provisional I.R.A. detonated a bomb at the Grand Hotel on 12th October 1984. Most of the Government were staying at the hotel at the time. The Conservative party was holding its annual conference in the town. Five people were killed in the explosion, and more than thirty were injured. It came very close to wiping out most of the Government, including the Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. The I.R.A.'s Patrick Magee had booked into the Grand Hotel under the false name of Roy Walsh, about a month before. He planted a bomb with a long-delay timer, hidden under a bath in one of the rooms. He was given eight life sentences for the crime, but released from prison in 1999 under the Good Friday Agreement. He served just fourteen years behind bars.It was one of two IRA bombs aimed directly at the collective Government of the day. The other was in February 1991when, at the height of the Gulf War security alert, the I.R.A. fired a mortar bomb directly at Downing Street. The War Cabinet was in session to discuss the threat from Saddam Hussein. The bomb was only yards from hitting the Prime Minister and his senior colleagues. The Grand Hotel bombing and the Downing Street bombing were 'different' to the IRA's other attacks. They were aimed directly at the heart of the democratically elected Government of the day, particularly the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Other IRA bombings either caused greater loss of life, resulted in more injuries or were of a far greater financial cost. For example, attacks at Omagh in 1998 killed twenty-eight, the explosion in the City in London in 1993 cost one billion pounds and the Manchester Shopping Centre bomb in 1996 saw two-hundred people hurt. Devastating as these attacks were, it can be argued that they were aimed at getting attention, disrupting democracy, costing the country money and bullying their way to the political decision making process.
 

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Contents

Acknowledgements
Key Characters
Thatchers Men the Cabinet June 1983June 1987
Northern Ireland Secretaries
The Political Background Selfrule the Troubles and Reasons for Hatred
Direct Rule Returns
a Summary
The Bombing of the Grand Hotel
The Investigation and Trial of the Bomber
A Study of the Effects of the Bombing on Peace Talks and the Politics of the
The Postbombing Cabinet Meeting
The Wheels of Government Kept Turning Around
How Close Did the IRA Really Come to Killing
The Security Issue
The Man Who Planted the Bomb Patrick Magee
Norman Tebbit

Paramilitary Attacks
The Explosion at the Grand Hotel Brighton 1984
The Rescue
The Conference the Next Morning
The Aftermath and Reactions to the Bombing
In Print and in the Media Brushing it Under
Fire Brigade Personnel and Fire Stations Involved in
Quotes About the Brighton Bombing
Bibliography
Copyright

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About the author (2014)

Kieran, son of Maureen, was born in Liverpool, spent his childhood in Shrewsbury, then spent the first part of his life in London, as a journalist and newsreader on BBC and commercial radio. By his late thirties he had started university to study for two degrees and teacher training. His Mum had persuaded him that he would make a good teacher! Kieran now teaches history full-time at a school in High Wycombe. He has four sons, seven grandchildren and lives with his wife Bridget near the town centre.

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