Narrow Water service near Warrenpoint marking 40 years since 18 soldiers died
Northern Ireland

Warrenpoint: Veterans Mark 40 Years Since 18 Soldiers Died

Exactly 40 years ago, 18 soldiers were killed when the IRA exploded remote-control bombs.

Narrow Water service near Warrenpoint marking 40 years since 18 soldiers died

A service has taken place near Warrenpoint to mark 40 years since 18 soldiers died (Picture: PA).

Veterans have gathered at a roadside at Narrow Water, County Down, to remember 18 soldiers who were killed at the spot by two IRA bombs 40 years ago.

More than 200 veterans, politicians and local people were present for a service and wreath-laying ceremony on the banks of the Newry River.

Those in attendance include survivors of the atrocity which took place on 27 August 1979 close to Warrenpoint.

The IRA exploded the remote-control bombs from a firing point on the other side of the river, in the Republic of Ireland.

Six soldiers travelling in an Army vehicle were killed by the first bomb, which was planted in a hay lorry parked at the side of the road.

As colleagues arrived to help, a second device exploded 30 minutes later, killing 12 more troops.

Army truck attacked by IRA bomb at Warrenpoint on 27 Aug 1979
Eighteen soldiers were killed near Warrenpoint by IRA bombs (Picture: PA).

It was the highest death toll suffered by the Army on a single day in Northern Ireland.

The service remembering the incident comes on the same day as a service at Mullaghmore in County Sligo to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the IRA murder of Second World War commander Lord Louis Mountbatten and three others.

A bomb on board a fishing boat killed the Queen's second cousin, two members of the former First Sea Lord's family and a Co Fermanagh teenager.

The mother and father of Paul Maxwell, the Fermanagh teenager who died, were among those who gathered for the outdoor service on a clifftop overlooking the scene of the atrocity.