Troubles amnesty bill: House of Commons is told ‘IRA commander Gerry Adams gave the orders for the La Mon Hotel atrocity which incinerated 12 civilians’

Gerry Adams has been named in the House of Commons as being behind one of the most notorious mass killings of the Troubles – the 1978 La Mon bombing.

By Adam Kula
Thursday, 30th June 2022, 6:54 pm
Updated Thursday, 30th June 2022, 7:46 pm

On February 17, the IRA detonated a giant petrol-fuelled bomb planted at the rural hotel, killing 12 civilians inside (all Protestants) who were attending a dinner organised by the Irish Collie Club.

The BBC reported that “analysts described the content of the bomb as home-made napalm – as used in the Vietnam War – where sugar was mixed with petrol so flames ‘stuck’ to whatever they burnt, including people”.

The matter was raised on the floor of the House on Thursday evening by DUP MP Jim Shannon, during a debate on the government’s proposed amnesty for Troubles crimes – something the DUP strongly opposes.

The 12 fatal La Mon victims (full caption in the copy below)

Mr Shannon told the House: “I am mindful of many incidents in Northern Ireland. I think of La Mon, where on 17 February, 1978, 12 people were killed and 30 people were seriously injured – the people who were killed were incinerated.

“The person who gave the order for that was the IRA commander in west Belfast, who just happened to be Gerry Adams.

“I want accountability for my constituents who were burned alive, but the legacy Bill does not give me or my constituents the chance of that.

“For that reason, I want to see a legacy Bill that speaks for victims and ensures that those who perpetrated crimes are held accountable.

Firefighters battling the La Mon blaze

“They might get away with it in this world, but they certainly will not get away with it in the next world.”

Responding, Tory MP Johnny Mercer (who backs the amnesty plans) said: “I have huge sympathy for the honourable member, whom I am close to and have huge affection for.

“He can imagine my views on Gerry Adams — thankfully we are in the House, so I will not get sued just for uttering his name — and on the incident that he refers to.

“However, I would say pragmatically that it has been a long time since that incident and, if that justice were possible, it would have happened. I want that more than anybody else, but it has not happened... it is very difficult to reach the threshold of criminal conviction.”

The aftermath of the carnage

The dead were:

(FIRST VERTICAL COLUMN)

Cooper, Sarah: 52

Crothers, Gordon: 30

Crothers, Joan: 26

(SECOND VERTICAL COLUMN)

Lockhart, Christine: 33

Magill, Daniel: 37

McCracken, Ian: 25

(THIRD VERTICAL COLUMN)

McCracken, Elizabeth: 25

Mills, Carol: 26

Morris, Sandra: 27

(FOURTH VERTICAL COLUMN)

Neeson, Thomas: 52

Nelson, Paul: 37

Nelson, Dorothy: 34

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