Events to mark Brighton bombing

Published: Sunday 12th October 2014 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

A number of commemorative events will be held in Brighton today to mark the 30th anniversary of the bomb which 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.

Patrick Magee, who planted the deadly device, will return to the city tonight to take 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 .

Staff at the hotel will gather around a plaque in the lobby which was unveiled by former Tory minister 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.”

Magee 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.

Ms Berry believes it is important Magee attends tonight’s documentary screening.

She said: ”For me, inviting Pat to be there (today) is to show a living example of reconciliation and the power of empathy. It is really important to have him there to demonstrate that.

”Yes, some people will be upset but I think that for peace sometimes you have to take these risks.”

Magee has declined to give press interviews ahead of the 30th anniversary of the bombing.

Ms Berry believes he has changed considerably.

She added: ”When he planted the bomb he wasn’t seeing human beings. It was a strategy and now he sees human beings and wonderful human beings. It has been about him getting his humanity back. That has changed him, definitely.

”He regards me as a friend. He knows that my dad was a wonderful human being and he knows that some of the qualities I have came from my father and that weighs heavily on him.”

Lord Tebbit, writing in the Sunday Telegraph, said he could not forgive the bomber.

“I am often asked if I can find it in my heart to forgive the creature, Patrick Magee, who planted the bomb,” he wrote.

“That, of course, is not possible, for Magee has never repented. It was not he who decided to commit that crime in Brighton, financed it and procured the bomb that he planted. If he was repentant and wanted to see justice done, he would have told the truth and named those guilty of those crimes.”

He added: “Yet, for many victims of the conflict, including my wife, justice has not been done. Think of ‘the disappeared’ who are denied even the dignity of a decent burial by the silence of those who know the truth. And without that justice, peace in the province is not as secure as it might be.”

Published: Sunday 12th October 2014 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

Local business search