Tuesday, May 19, 2015
THE MOUNTBATTEN MURDERS – THE GRANUAILE CONNECTION
Much has and will be written about the horrific events off Mulloughmore Harbour in 1979. I vividly recall hearing the news on my car radio on that day and pulling over to the side of the road to try and take in the enormity of what I was hearing. In nineteen-eighties Ireland we had become anaes the tised by the seemingly unending daily dose of bombings, murders, punishment shootings and the mayhem that daily emanated mainly from Northern Ireland . But for me this incident was somewhat different.
In research for my biography of Ireland ’s Pirate Queen, Granuaile – Grace O’Malley, I knew that among the casualties of the bombing of the Shadow V was her 14th great grandson in descent, Nicholas Brabourne. With tragic perversity, in waters she once traversed in the sixteenth century, a descendant of one of our most iconic historical figures, elevated by folklore and poetry as symbolic of Irish nationalism, even of Ireland itself, was in 1979 deemed expendable in the cause of Irish republicanism. For me it turned history on its head.