The Crown must handle IRA atrocity with 'sensitivity'

Rory Carroll Ireland correspondent
Photograph: Eric Starling/Ronachan Films

The mother of a boy murdered by the IRA alongside Lord Louis Mountbatten has appealed to the makers of the The Crown to accurately depict the atrocity in the next season of the Netflix series.

Mary Hornsey said she hoped the drama would show sensitivity in portraying the events of 27 August 1979, when a bomb blew up Mountbatten’s fishing boat off Mullaghmore, a village in County Sligo on Ireland’s north-west coast.

The blast killed Mountbatten, 79, along with his grandson Nicholas Knatchbull, 14, the dowager Lady Doreen Brabourne, 83, and a 15-year-old boat boy named Paul Maxwell – Hornsey’s son.

Mountbatten’s daughter Patricia, her husband John and their son Timothy, Nicholas’s twin, were injured but survived.

Hornsey told the Belfast Telegraph it could be “positive” for a wide audience to hear the story if it was done respectfully and truthfully.

“There are two aspects of truth – the kind that we can make up that we want to see [on screen] and the actual truth. I think that is very important. I also think that the emotion involved in something so great as that should come over.”

The murders caused “great waves” of pain and grief for relatives and friends of the dead, she said. “I think it’s important to get that message out, that they should not murder, they should not kill. Especially children.”

The actor Charles Dance, who plays Mountbatten in the show’s upcoming fourth season, has reportedly already filmed the scene – one of the Troubles’ most notorious atrocities. Earlier this month other cast members including Olivia Coleman, who plays Queen Elizabeth, were seen filming a funeral at Winchester Cathedral, a stand-in for Westminster Abbey.

Hornsey said she had no advance knowledge of how The Crown will depict the murders. “I don’t know whether the programme’s going to be respectful until I actually see it. I would hope that it would be because there are very many sensitive issues. A lot of people like myself are still grieving over that and probably always will. So it should be handled with sensitivity and yet truth as well.”

Relatives of the victims and Mullaghmore residents held a remembrance last August, the 40th anniversary of the morning an IRA team used a remote control device to blow up the boat. A separate attack hours later near Warrenpoint, county Down, killed 18 British soldiers.

The IRA called the murder of Mountbatten – the last viceroy of India and the Queen’s second cousin – an “execution”. In a poignant visit to Mullaghmore in 2015 Prince Charles spoke of reconciliation and called Mountbatten the grandfather he never had.

---Watch the latest videos from Yahoo Style UK---