30 years since Brighton bombing

Published: Friday 10th October 2014 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

It is 30 years since the Brighton bomb ripped through The Grand Hotel killing five people and seriously injuring 34 others.

The intended target of the IRA terrorist attack was Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her Tory Cabinet, who were staying at the hotel during the Conservative Party conference.

But while Mrs Thatcher and her husband Denis narrowly escaped injury, others who were caught up in the explosion at 2.53am on October 12 1984 were not so fortunate.

Former Tory minister Lord Tebbit, the then trade and industry secretary, was severely injured in the blast and his wife Margaret was left paralysed from the neck down and needing 24-hour care.

“I think about it every day in the sense that I look at my wife who was sentenced to life imprisonment in a wheelchair,” he said.

Fiercely protective of his wife, Lord Tebbit, 83, says the anniversary is “just another day” as he and Lady Tebbit live with the injuries they sustained in the attack.

He said: “There is nothing really to celebrate, or mark, it just goes on.”

Age, he says, has brought its own problems exacerbating the injuries he and his wife suffered.

He said: “There are only two alternatives. You either live with it or you die with it, and that’s the way it is.”

Lord Tebbit also says he has nothing but contempt for bomber Patrick Magee who was handed eight life sentences at the Old Bailey in 1986, with a recommendation he serve a minimum of 35 years.

He was released in 1999 under the Good Friday Agreement – having served 13 years for the crime.

Lord Tebbit said: “Magee is just a low creature and an object of contempt, particularly as he now tries to make something of a living out of talking about it.

“He was no more than a monkey on an organ grinder’s organ.”

Magee will be in the city on Sunday taking part in a panel discussion following a screening of documentary Beyond Right & Wrong at The Old Market in Hove.

The programme follows the story of Jo Berry, whose father Sir Anthony Berry was killed in the explosion, and her reconciliatory journey with Magee.

The Grand will also be marking the anniversary with a minute’s silence at noon on Sunday.

Staff at the hotel will gather around a plaque in the lobby which was unveiled by Lord Tebbit on the 25th anniversary of the bombing.

The flag on the roof of the hotel will be flown at half mast for the whole day and the flags on the front of the building will be taken down as a mark of respect to all those who lost their lives and were injured during the bombing.

General manager Andrew Mosley said: “It is an opportunity to remind the staff and ourselves of what happened 30 years ago on that day.

“To reflect on what it must have been like for our colleagues at the time and to remember those who lost their lives, those who were injured, the community in Brighton that was so badly affected, and members of the emergency services who were called to the blast.

“The message we want to send above all else is that we have not forgotten what happened here 30 years ago.”

Published: Friday 10th October 2014 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

Local business search