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16th-Sep-2016 11:58 pm - Mountbatten boat boy murder no act of war: victims’ group
By Mark Rainey
News Letter
16 Sept 2016

 photo Paul-Maxwell2.jpg

Portora Royal pupil Paul Maxwell was killed when the IRA bombed a boat owned by Lord Mountbatten

A film maker has angered some terror victims by describing the IRA attack on Lord Mountbatten’s fishing party in Sligo as “an act of war”. In an online pitch to raise funds for a short film about the 1979 bombing that claimed the life of 15-year-old Paul Maxwell, as well as the Queen’s cousin and two of his relatives, Joe Madden uses the word “war” several times.

Yesterday the ‘Boat Boy’ film appeal hit its target of £15,000 and the film-maker behind the project told the News Letter he hoped to begin filming as soon as possible.

Paul Maxwell’s family lived in Enniskillen but owned a cottage in Mullaghmore. The Portora Royal pupil had taken a summer job as a crew member on Mountbatten’s boat Shadow V and was saving his pay to buy a bicycle.

Mr Madden said he was prepared to meet any victims’ group concerned about his description of the film’s backdrop. He said: “Everyone talks about the Mountbatten death, but no one remembers a young boy, or very few people do, especially in England, so I really wanted to tell this story. “They (the victims’ groups) can call me and we can discuss it.

The thing that I have put up online is a pitch to get money for a short film. It will annoy some people but then other people, and especially English people who are our main financiers behind all this... that’s who we’re trying to sell it to.”

Mr Madden added: “I’m not saying it should have happened, or that it shouldn’t have happened, I’m not saying any of that. If they want I can send the script to them and they can have a read of it to see what they think. It’s dealing with a delicate subject so it’s always going to rub someone up the wrong way.”

In a video to promote the fundraising effort, Mr Madden says: “Boat Boy is not a politically motivated film. It is the coming of age story of Paul Maxwell and how in the summer of ‘79 he takes his first steps into becoming a responsible young adult with his first summer job. I wanted to show that, even in times of war, life must go on, and when I came across the story of Paul Maxwell I thought it was a really interesting way to express that idea. “Paul Maxwell tragically lost his life in an act of war. It is in this fatal climax that we are reminded that not all casualties of that are soldiers.”

Kenny Donaldson of the South East Fermanagh Foundation (SEFF) accepted that the film could prove to be “extremely powerful,” but said some of the language being used was unacceptable. “What happened in Mullaghmore, Sligo was an act of terrorism, an act of cold and brutal murder, an act of cowardice – it was not an act of war,” he said.

“If the narrative is not accurate to the reality of events then the film’s potential for good is thwarted. If it was a war then senior members of the republican movement, who now wear suits, and others who don’t belong to that elite, plus many others would be up in The Hague for serious war crimes.”

Paul’s mother Mary Hornsey said she has been “taken aback” in the past when her son’s murder has been the subject of press or television coverage without prior warning to the family. “That can come as an awful shock to people,” Ms Hornsey said.

Ms Hornsey revealed that she was never quite comfortable in the Mullaghmore cottage, and had reservations about Paul taking the Mountbatten job due to the security risk. “I was assured that there was going to be a lot of protection on that boat and that is why I said ‘okay then,’ but there wasn’t,” she added.
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19th-May-2015 02:49 am - Mountbatten blast victim’s mother tells IRA man: Apologise for killing innocents
• Mother of teenager killed in IRA bombing demands apology from murderer
• Paul Maxwell was a crew member on Mountbatten's Shadow V when killed
• Request from Mary Hornsey comes ahead of Prince Charles's visit to site

**Please use the SITE SEARCH in the links to your right and type in 'Paul Maxwell' to see many more articles on this tragedy.

By Nicola Byrne
Daily Mail
16 May 2015

The mother of a teenage boy who died in the IRA bombing that killed Lord Mountbatten has asked his murderer to apologise for ‘the slaughter of children’ just days before Prince Charles’s visit to the site of the attack.

Paul Maxwell, a member of the crew on Mountbatten’s boat Shadow V, was 15 when he died in the 1979 attack. The other victims were Mountbatten’s 14-year-old grandson Nicholas Knatchbull and the Dowager Lady Brabourne, who was 83.

Mountbatten’s daughter Lady Brabourne and her husband Lord Brabourne were both injured but survived the blast, as did their son Timothy, Nicholas’s twin brother.

Bomb-maker Thomas McMahon is the only person to have been convicted for the attack, which happened after the boat party had set off from the fishing village of Mullaghmore in Donegal Bay.

McMahon served 18 years before being released in 1998 under the Good Friday peace agreement.

Paul Maxwell (left) was 15 when he died in the IRA bomb explosion

Speaking to The Mail on Sunday from her home outside Belfast, Paul’s mother, Mary Hornsey, said: ‘I would like him to apologise. I feel that if he has a conscience, he must have a great deal on his conscience because he killed two innocent boys.

‘What cause is great enough to warrant the slaughter of innocent children? It’s hard to know what is in Mr McMahon’s heart. If he were to lose one of his own children in such a sudden barbaric way, then maybe he would realise what an awful, heinous act he committed in taking my son from me.

‘I would like to ask him why he murdered my son – what purpose did it serve?’

At the time, Mrs Hornsey’s family lived in Enniskillen in Northern Ireland but had a summer house in Mullaghmore, where her son worked as a deckhand for Mountbatten.

She says Paul was a kind and gentle boy with friends from both sides of the religious divide in Northern Ireland.

Although Charles’s visit comes 36 years after the bombing, it is believed he has wanted to visit Mullaghmore for some time. He and the Duchess of Cornwall will arrive on Tuesday when they fly to Galway for a reception at the city’s university to celebrate the area’s links with Britain. Later they will be at a private dinner hosted by the Irish president, Michael D. Higgins, in Lough Cutra Castle in South Galway.

On Wednesday they will attend a service of peace and reconciliation at Drumcliffe church in Sligo.

Mary Hornsey (right) and Donna Maxwell (left), the mother and sister of Paul Maxwell pictured at his funeral

Welcoming the Prince’s visit, Mrs Hornsey said: ‘He is extending the hand of friendship and showing a great deal of trust. I commend him.’ McMahon, who lives with his wife in Carrickmacross, County Monaghan, works as a carpenter. He has ignored two requests from Paul Maxwell’s father, John, to meet.

Yesterday Mr Maxwell extended the invitation again, saying: ‘I’ve been asked do I forgive him? A lot depends on what he would say to me if I met him, which I would still consider doing.’

He added: ‘The Royal visit brings hope for the future.’

The Mail on Sunday tried to interview Mr McMahon last week. As he was leaving a hardware shop in Carrickmacross, our reporter asked him whether he had any regrets about the 1979 bombing.

He replied, ‘Good for you’ and walked back towards his car. He refused to comment on the Prince’s visit, before driving off at speed.

Bomb-maker Thomas McMahon (right) is the only person to have been convicted for the attack

A massive security operation is under way in preparation for the Prince’s arrival, as reported in The Mail on Sunday last week.

On Thursday, Irish police revealed they had foiled a suspected Real IRA bomb plot that could have led to explosives being planted near an Army base north of the border.

Charles enjoyed a close relationship with Lord Mountbatten, his great-uncle, whom he looked upon as a father figure and mentor.

It emerged yesterday that MI5 believed the IRA planned to shoot down the Navy helicopter carrying Mountbatten’s body back from Ireland after the bombing.

One of the helicopter’s crewmen revealed that they were warned of such a plot. Colin Douglas, who was a lieutenant in the Fleet Air Arm, said: ‘The Security Service threat assessment for our task that day [was] “likely to come under attack.” ’

In March 1979, an Army helicopter was nearly downed by the IRA when it came under heavy machine-gun fire in South Armagh.

Lord Louis Mountbatten of Burma his two son-in-laws , grandchildren and Paul Maxwell returning from fishing at Mullaghmore, County Sligo

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