IRA attempt to assassinate Thatcher

The Grand Hotel after a bomb had been detonated with the intent of killing the Prime Minister

© British Pathé

    • On 12th October 1984 at 2.54am, the Irish Republican Army tried to assassinate Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and the entire British Cabinet. A bomb was placed inside the Grand Hotel in Brighton, Sussex, England where most leading members of the Conservative party were staying. It was the most devastating terrorist attack ever to have been launched on British politicians. The bomb failed to kill any of the ministers, however, five people were killed and 34 were injured in the attack. Thatcher was still awake at the time of the bomb and it left her bathroom badly damaged where she had been just two minutes earlier. IRA member Patrick Magee had checked in to the hotel nearly a month before the conference and during his stay he planted the bomb under the bath in his room. The room was being used by Sir Donald Maclean and his wife when the bomb went off. Magee was subsequently found guilty of planting the bomb and received 8 life sentences. He was later released in 1999 under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement. Find out more in this short film.
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