As the police patrol car approached the restaurant the IRA men attempted to remote detonate a land mine, but it failed to explode. Additional members of the security services arriving at the scene were to be picked off by gunmen positioned on the hillside. The plan deteriorated further when SAS men emerged and exchanged gunfire with the terrorists. Both sides lost a man. On the British side it was 28-year-old Sergeant Alistair Slater from Leicestershire. Two of the other terrorists attempted to flee the scene by swimming across the River Bannagh and into the Republic on the other side. One of them didn't make it. His body was found nine days later.
The IRA man who had drowned, Kieran Fleming, was one of 37 Republican prisoners who had escaped from the Maze Prison in 1983. Four days after he perished, his cousin was killed by the SAS along with another IRA man.
|Sgt Alistair Slater, killed by the IRA on 2 Dec 1984|