The annual release of state papers can turn up some fascinating pieces of information. Today’s Irish Independent reports that Lord Mountbatten wished for a united Ireland. In 1972 he is said to have told Donal O'Sullivan, the then Irish Ambassador to London, in 1972 that he would he would be happy to help with efforts to secure a lasting peace.
Mountbatten was hopeful that political developments under the Heath government would lead to reunification. According to O’Sullivan "Lord Mountbatten said he wished me to know that he and many of his friends have been deeply impressed by the positive Dublin reaction to the Heath initiative...They hope that this can be developed into a 'major advance towards the final solution'. Reunification is the only eventual solution. If there is anything he can do to help he will be most happy to co-operate."
In addition O’ Sullivan claimed that Terence ‘Neill, the former Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, also believed a united Ireland was inevitable. He paraphrased Lord O'Neill words: "What we in the South must realise is that there are no Wolfe Tones among the Northern Protestants and we should, therefore, do everything we can to discourage any idea that there is a speedy path towards reunification. It will come but in its own time."
Lord Mountbatten was murdered by the IRA in 1979.