BRITAIN BACKED BOMB PLOT TO ASSASSINATE THE QUEEN; Dynamite Stockpiled in Attempt to Discredit Parnell.(News)

Sunday Mirror (London, England), May 19, 2002 | Go to article overview
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BRITAIN BACKED BOMB PLOT TO ASSASSINATE THE QUEEN; Dynamite Stockpiled in Attempt to Discredit Parnell.(News)


Byline: JOHN KELLY

QUEEN Victoria was targeted by a British Government-backed assassination squad in a bid to destroy Irish hero Charles Stewart Parnell, a sensational new book claims.

It reveals how the secret service infiltrated republican organisations and even planned a bomb attack on the Queen in a bid to undermine the charismatic nationalist leader.

And it claims that the British government was so concerned about the rise of Home Rule and popularity of Parnell that he and his lover Kitty O'Shea were under constant surveillance.

Fenian Fire, by historian Christy Campbell, lifts the lid on the foiled Jubilee Plot to kill the Queen at a service of thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey in 1887.

And it points the finger of blame directly at the British government which it claims paid a spy to infiltrate the US wing of the Fenian Brotherhood, Clan na Gael, where he plotted a bomb attack on Queen Victoria.

"The government obviously never wanted the Queen to be actually killed," says Christy Campbell. "But they wanted the plot to be discovered as an act of appalling terrorism by Clan na Gael who were funding Parnell.

"In that way he would be totally discredited."

The book also reveals that the Irish Secretary Arthur Balfour received intimate bedroom details of Parnell's love life from a top spy who was assigned full time to the affair. Letters from the spy tell with glee how Kitty O'Shea's son discovered the affair when he found Parnell's medicine and clothes in his mother's Brighton house bedroom.

But central to the book is the amazing plot to bring down the Monarch. During her reign there were seven attempts to assassinate Queen Victoria. But the Jubilee Plot was the most serious of all.

Over the past century, historians have believed that it was a conspiracy hatched in New York by the Fenian Brotherhood to blow up the Queen, her family and most of the British Cabinet. Dynamite was to be set off at a service to commemorate the 50th anniversary of her accession in 1887.

The plot was allegedly uncovered by Scotland Yard with just days to go. A government inquiry was immediately ordered and within six months two Americans were arrested and sentenced to penal servitude for life.

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BRITAIN BACKED BOMB PLOT TO ASSASSINATE THE QUEEN; Dynamite Stockpiled in Attempt to Discredit Parnell.(News)
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