Tuesday, February 07, 2006
The Grand Hotel - Seafront, Brighton
The Brighton hotel bombing was the bombing by the Provisional IRA of the Grand Hotel in Brighton in the early morning of October 12, 1984. The Irish republican organisation detonated two large bombs in the hotel where many politicians, including Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, were staying for the British Conservative Party conference.
The bombs failed to kill Thatcher or any of her government ministers, but did kill five people including Conservative MP Sir Anthony Berry, and John Wakeham's first wife Roberta. Several others, including Margaret Tebbit the wife of Norman Tebbit who was then President of the Board of Trade, were left permanently disabled.
The bomb went off at 2.54 am. Thatcher was still awake at the time, said to be working on her conference speech. It shredded through her bathroom barely two minutes after she had left it; but she and her husband Denis escaped injury.
The IRA claimed responsibility the next day, and said that they would try again. Their statement famously included the words:
Today we were unlucky, but remember we only have to be lucky once. You will have to be lucky always.
Thatcher began the next session of the conference at 9.30 am the following morning as scheduled, despite the number of dead and wounded still being unknown at that time. "The attack failed. All attempts to destroy democracy by terrorism will fail.", she said to those attending the conference.
Wikipedia contributors (2006). Brighton hotel bombing. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 00:25, February 7, 2006
PS I took a smasher of a shot of the Brighton Pier - formerly the Palace Pier (the remaining going concern) this evening too - I'll save that one for a rainy day (when I forget to take a photo!)
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