Ivana Bacik's family link to Archduke Franz Ferdinand and Sarajevo assassination which sparked WWI
Published 30/06/2014 | 07:28
Centenary events marking the famous assassination in Sarajevo that started the First World War have stirred family memories for Dublin senator Ivana Bacik.
The Senator's great-grandfather was a top official assisting Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, during their fateful visit to the city.
"It came down as a bit of a family legend. I remember my grandmother speaking about it," said Senator Bacik (46).
Dr Jindrich 'Henry' Starch, the father of Senator Bacik's paternal grandmother Edith, had been travelling in the car directly behind the doomed couple's car in a cavalcade shortly before their assassination.
The Archduke and his wife were shot dead in their car by a 19-year-old Serbian nationalist. The Archduke was the heir to the throne of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire and its ultimatum against Serbia triggered the start of World War One.
Events on Saturday in Sarajevo marked the 100th anniversary of the shooting of the royal couple on June 28, 1914. Dr Starch, a senior Czech official for the Austria-Hungarian Empire in Bosnia, was appointed as aide-de-camp to the duchess for the couple's visit.
Senator Bacik said: "The story has remained in our family through the years. I remember my grandmother Edith telling me the family stories and she was inclined to make light of it."