In the early hours of the morning of the 12th October 1984, a bomb exploded in the Grand Hotel in Brighton. Five people were killed and many more were injured. The bombing was an attempt by the Provisional IRA to kill the Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, and her cabinet.
Patrick Magee, the man responsible for planting the bomb, was eventually apprehended, put on trial and imprisoned. He was released in 1999, under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement. The following year he met Jo Berry, the daughter of Sir Anthony Berry MP, one of the 5 people killed at Brighton. The conversation they started at their first meeting had a profound impact on both of them, and it has continued ever since. Their ongoing dialogue, and their friendship, is now more than 20 years in the making, and an extraordinary example of what is possible, even in the face of profound differences, when there is a genuine commitment to honesty, inclusion and dialogue.
This month Pluto publishes Patrick Magee’s memoir, Where Grieving Begins: Building Bridges after the Brighton Bomb. The book recounts the influences and events of Patrick’s life, reflecting on his motivations and the political context in which he acted; on armed struggle, the peace process and the legacies of the conflict. The book’s foreword is written by Jo Berry.
This month we’re joined on the show by Patrick Magee and Jo Berry, to talk about the Troubles, the Brighton Bomb and healing the wounds left by the conflict.
Building Bridges for Peace: