Tuesday 21 May 2019

Families mark 40th anniversary of Dublin and Monaghan attacks

Bernie McNally at a commemoration for the 35th anniversary of the bombings in Talbot Street, Dublin
Bernie McNally at a commemoration for the 35th anniversary of the bombings in Talbot Street, Dublin

Emma Jane Hade

SURVIVORS and family members of the victims of the Dublin and Monaghan bomb attacks are today marking the 40th anniversary of the atrocity that claimed 34 lives.

Those mourning the loss of their loved ones will be joined by survivors for a wreath-laying ceremony at the memorial on Talbot Street, the site where one of the bombs detonated on May 17, 1974.

This will be followed by a Mass in the Pro-Cathedral at 12.45pm.

It is expected that the Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore and the Deputy Lord Mayor will be present at the events, which are due to be orated by historian Tim Pat Coogan. Thirty-three people and a nine-month-old unborn baby perished in the bombings – the single highest death toll during the Troubles. However, nobody has ever been convicted for the mass murder.

The Dublin and Monaghan 'Justice for the Forgotten' group announced earlier this week that they intend to sue the British state, accusing it of failing to provide original and undisclosed documents to assist with the investigations.

Among the scores of people at today's ceremonies will be Dublin woman Bernie McNally – herself a survivor of the awful attack which significantly altered her life.

"I was 16 years old and I was working in O'Neill's shoe shop on Talbot Street," the mother of four explained, as she recalled that awful day. "It was after 5pm, the busiest time of the day with people heading for trains, it was a Friday," she said. Ms McNally spent six weeks in hospital recovering from her injuries and lost the sight in one of her eyes. She said that the 'Justice for the Forgotten' group came to the decision to take legal action as "it is the only road left" to them.

"We have exhausted every other avenue," she added. The 56-year-old said that it was "kind of a national shame" that the families and victims were still without answers 40 years on, and said their situation "beggars belief".

Ms McNally described today's ceremonies as bittersweet, but said that it was comforting for the families "to have their loved ones acknowledged". "I didn't lose anybody, so for me it is different. I look forward to these days because it is one way of remembering those who are lost." Remembering our darkest day: Review 6-7

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News