Mountbatten's grandson 'forgives' IRA bombers

LORD Mountbatten's grandson has said he has forgiven the IRA bombers who killed his grandfather, grandmother and twin brother.

Timothy Knatchbull, now 44, was also on the fishing boat targeted in the attack 30 years ago in Co Sligo.

Lord Mountbatten - cousin of the Queen and a decorated Second World War veteran - died along with his grandson Nicholas, 14, and Paul Maxwell, a 15-year-old Fermanagh schoolboy who worked on the boat.

The Dowager Lady Brabourne, 83, died the following day from her injuries.

Now, Mr Knatchbull has spoken of how it took him 25 years to get over the incident, something he said he was only able to do after travelling back to Ireland in 2003 to “discover a new level of healing”.

He also told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that he has written a book about his life since the attack.

“I needed to move on and get into a state of forgiveness that had eluded me,” Mr Knatchbull said.

“When I tried to look into the events I found that precious little was known about who did what and how and when.

“By digging deep and finding out for myself firsthand what had happened, who had done it and indeed why, I was able to get to a whole new level of forgiveness and, indeed, healing.”

He spoke of the difficulty he had faced in trying to accept that he had lost his twin brother Nicholas.

Mr Knatchbull said: “He was still too present in my mind and in my heart.

“That was partly because I never saw him, I never had a goodbye, I never saw his dead body, and I was – like my parents – unable to travel from hospital to be at his funeral.

“So by going back to Ireland, I was able to piece together what I needed to piece together to have that experience.”

Mr Knatchbull said his memories of the bomb attack - which happened close to the fishing village of Mullaghmore - were “terribly snatched”.

He described “a sensation of the explosion”, revealing that the next thing he could remember was “being in the bottom of a boat, and I could feel a very hard floor that I was on, a wooden floor and I could feel vibration”.

“And I could hear some very frightened, very emotionally charged, kindly voices. Irish accents,” added Mr Knatchbull.

“I knew that something was dreadfully wrong, and I knew there was something dreadfully wrong with me, but quite what I couldn’t tell.”