Saturday 10 December 2016

On this day 42 years ago, 33 people were killed and 300 injured in single worst atrocity of The Troubles

Published 17/05/2016 | 16:36

Haley O'Brien (4) who's great uncle John O'Brien was killed in the Dublin-Monaghan bombings, lays a wreath in Talbot Street Dublin, during a ceremony to mark the 42nd anniversary of the bombings. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Haley O'Brien (4) who's great uncle John O'Brien was killed in the Dublin-Monaghan bombings, lays a wreath in Talbot Street Dublin, during a ceremony to mark the 42nd anniversary of the bombings. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Alan McBride (whose wife and father in law where killed in the Shankill Bombing) speaking at a wreath laying ceremony in Talbot Street Dublin to mark the 42nd anniversary of the Dublin-Monaghan bombings. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Wendy Doherty was just shy of her second birthday as she was walking home with her pregnant mother on Dublin’s Talbot Street when a car bomb exploded, killing her mother Collette and her unborn sibling who was due to be born two days later.

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Miraculously, Ms Doherty was left relatively unscathed when she was found afterwards wandering the streets in a daze by a kindly fireman.

But 42 years later,  she and other family of the 33 people who were killed and 300 injured in the single worst atrocity of The Troubles are still demanding justice.

After more than four decades, no one has ever been held accountable for setting the three car bombs in Dublin and a fourth one in Monaghan town 90 minutes later that indiscriminately killed victims ranging in age from five months to 80.

Every  May 17 since that horrific day in 1974, Ms Doherty and other grieving family members  have laid floral tributes at a monument on Talbot Street that bears the names of their mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers,  husbands , wives, aunts and uncles  who  were callously murdered as they went about their everyday business.

“I’m one of the lucky ones, thank God I have no recollection of it,” Ms Doherty told Independent.ie. “ But for the people who do, their lives have never been the same,” she said.

“I have two children and it’s now effecting them. I took them out of school to be here,” she said of the annual commemoration ceremony at the monument this afternoon.

“It’s just barbaric that nothing’s been done.”

Dublin Lord Mayor Árdmhéara Críona Ni Dhálaigh,  Foreign Affairs Mininster Charlie Flanagan,  Noel Keelan, Cathaoirleach of Monaghan County Council, Mary O’Brien of Justice for the Forgotten and Paul O’Connor from the Pat Finucane Centre laid wreaths at the monument in a solemn ceremony marking the tragic day and loss of innocent lives.

Among the hundred or so people gathered at the ceremony, organised by the Justice for the Forgotten committee, was Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams and deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald as well as renowned artist Robert Ballagh and people who lived and worked in both Dublin and Monaghan who were witness to the atrocity.

Meanwhile, Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan pledged to continue to press Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers to urge the British Government to release its the original police and state files on the bombings.

“We’ve had yet another very poignant and moving occasion, the 42nd anniversary of the Dublin-Monaghan atrocity, and I believe it’s important that we re-commit ourselves towards unfolding the truth. There are many unanswered questions and I believe that when we speak about reconciliation, a very important  tenet of reconciliation is truth,” he told Independent.ie

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