By Simon Basketter
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New claims of child abuse by top royal Mountbatten

This article is over 1 years, 4 months old
Royal favourite Lord Mountbatten has been accused of abusing children. A new case will now lift the lid of how the state was complicit

Lord Louis Mountbatten on a trip to Israel in 1967 (Picture: National Library of Israel)

Did the new king’s mentor rape children? According to a case being brought in Belfast against the police and other state institutions, the answer is yes, repeatedly. Arthur Smyth suffered sexual abuse as an 11 year old child at the notorious Kincora Boys’ Home in the 1970s.

He has named Lord Louis Mountbatten as one of his tormentors. He is the latest in a ­growing list of boys accusing Mountbatten of abuse. Kincora was run by three men who were convicted of child abuse in 1981—William McGrath, Joseph Mains and Raymond Semple.

Smyth says he was abused twice in Kincora in 1977 by Mountbatten. McGrath abused him for months afterwards.  In later life, the trauma of what he had experienced drove him to attempt suicide by driving his motorcycle into oncoming traffic.

At least three other boys were more than likely trafficked to Mountbatten’s mock castle in Ireland.  One of the victims, Stephen Waring, later took his own life in dubious circumstances. Another “Sean” came ­forward to accuse Mountbatten in 2019.

Mountbatten was the former Viceroy of India and head of the British Armed Forces.  He was killed by an IRA bomb in 1979, along with his 14 year old grandson Nicholas and a 15 year old deckhand Paul Maxwell.

According to FBI documents Mountbatten was gripped by “a lust for young boys”. A Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry found that 39 boys were abused at Kincora.  But it dismissed ­allegations against Mountbatten and said it found no evidence that security agencies were ­complicit in the abuse.

The second of those ­conclusions is immediately provable as nonsense.  MI5 and the Northern Ireland Office intervened to protect McGrath because he was working for them. While launching far right Loyalist groups and gun ­running, McGrath’s task was to supply boys to politicians and Loyalist terrorists so they could be blackmailed by MI5.

For instance John Young, town solicitor at Belfast, to whom the boys’ complaints were passed, was one of the abusers. Others were councillors But it went higher. Richard Kerr, another victim from Kincora, says he met the chief spook Sir Maurice Oldfield in the home in 1978. People in authority knew what was going on because military intelligence officer Colin Wallace blew the whistle.  

Wallace told his superiors what was happening and even put out a press release in early 1973. He supplied the address and phone number of Kincora. No newspaper followed this up despite the media usually running Wallace’s ­propaganda briefings unedited.

While the repeated cover-ups around Kincora encourage conspiracies, the evidence against Mountbatten has grown. And he did have a role in a real conspiracy. He came close to leading industrialists and generals plotting a coup in 1968 against the Labour government of Harold Wilson.

The security services backed off but went on to run a serious operation to destabilise successive governments.  One offshoot of that ­operation was the ­cover-up—at best—of child abuse, including by the rich and powerful. Operation Clockwork Orange was an attempt to smear and undermine a Labour government—and those Tories who weren’t ­considered tough enough.

Wallace was sacked in 1975 after he refused to ­continue on Clockwork Orange.  He had baulked at the idea of overthrowing the ­government he was supposed to be working for. He was frustrated that his attempts to expose the Kincora scandal were failing.

There have been ­numerous inquiries into the case. The first, in 1982, collapsed after a day.  The next one wouldn’t look into the cover-up and didn’t interview anyone. Others have come and gone.

Appropriately the most recent report into the scandal by the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland, which added less than little, was released on the same day as the queen’s funeral. But the state doesn’t need a funeral to cover up its crimes. These Kincora files the state admits to keeping will be ­classified until 2060. 

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