News Letter

Plea To Meet Son's Killer

By Anne Palmer
Thursday 26th August 2004

John Maxwell, the father of a teenager blown up in the IRA bomb which killed Lord Mountbatten, is today making a public appeal to meet his son's killer.

Twenty-five years ago tomorrow, the IRA explosion - for which IRA man Thomas McMahon was convicted - claimed the lives of 15-yearold boatboy Paul Maxwell, Lord Louis Mountbatten, his nephew 14-year-old Nicholas Knatchbull and Lady Brabourne.

In November, 1979, McMahon, then aged 31, was sentenced to life in prison for the bombing.

He was freed under the Good Friday Agreement after serving 18 years.

Since McMahon's release, Mr Maxwell has tried to make contact with him several times.

"I would like to meet him," Mr Maxwell said.

"I would have to play it by ear. It could be potentially positive or on the other hand it could be a complete disaster, depending on how we interacted.

"But I would like to give it a try. The best that I could hope for if I met him would be that we shared a common humanity, that could lead to a kind of understanding for me.

"Nothing will ever take away the pain of what happened, but it might enable me to feel a bit easier about it.

"McMahon has served some of his time, but I don't know how I'd feel if no-one was ever caught."

Mr Maxwell, who heard the explosion, found his son's body in the bottom of a boat that had been brought into the harbour.

At first, he thought Paul was still alive because his body was still warm, but the dreadful truth soon became apparent.

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