An Phoblacht / Republican News
May 18th, 1981
IRA Attempt to Kill Queen
Following the IRA bomb attack at an oil terminal on the Shetland Islands off the northern coast of Scotalnd whilst the British monarch, Queen Elizabrit, was on an official visit there last Saturday, the IRA pointed out that had they managed to place the bomb close enough to her then she would now be dead.
This dire threat was issued through the Irish Republican Publicity Bureau in Dublin and was signed by P. O'Neill. The IRA pointed out that:
"While the British occupation of Ireland continues then members of the British ruling class and administration will continue to be subject to IRA attacks. They have a choice. The Irish People, who live under British terror do not."
The mid-day explosion at the Sullom Voe oil terminal Saturday was in the terminal's main power station, a quarter of a mile away from where the English Queen wand Prince Phillip were attending the terminal's inauguration ceremony. The pair were within minutes of formally opening the terminal, having arrived at the Shetland Islands in the royal yacht.
The explosion, caused by 7 lbs. of gelignite, was in Europe's largest oil terminal, owned by British Petroleum, where millions of gallons of oil are daily piped in from the North Sea oilfields. The explosion happened at a point high in the power station and debris was scattered over a congested area.
Saturday's IRA operation was a breach of Elizabrit's security comparable to a previous one, in 1977, during the Queen's jubilee year visit to the occupied six counties of Ireland, when bombs buried in the grounds of Coleraine University exploded shortly before, and after, the royal visit.
At that time, the British administration denied that bombs had been placed, but the IRA's claim was later confirmed by British army Brigadier James Glover, in captured "document 37", who admitted that a bomb on a long delay electronic timer had been inside the university grounds during the Queen's visit.
Last weekend, in order to minimise the loss of face to the British establishment caused by yet another IRA breach of their bejewelled mascot's security, the Scottish police, oil terminal officials, and the British media presumably orchestrated by British Home Office officials - played down both the attack and the IRA's Saturday lunchtime claims of responsibility to Reuters press agency and, via the Belfast republican press centre, to the media at large.
A reporter, who was covering the inauguration, said that when newsmen made on the sport enquires on Saturday lunchtime about the IRA's claim, they were told by the police that it was a hoax. Elizabrit's entourage, including security officers, dismissed it as a hoax and smiling senior police officers did nothing to disturb that view.
From Saturday to Wednesday the official line changed gradually, day by day. From no explosion on Saturday,; to an explosion by an unknown cause on Sunday evening; to an explosion, not due to a technical or equipment fault, as BP attempted on Tuesday to shift the blame away from themselves; and finally as Scottish police confirmed on Wednesday, to an explosion caused by high explosives!