Wednesday 18 September 2019

Saw his cousin shot on the day of the Narrow Water bomb

September, 1979 The 'Argus' was able to exclusively reveal in the first week of September, 1979 that RUC officers had crossed the Border in the week-end after the killing of 18-British soldiers at Narrow Water to interview Barry Hudson whose cousin was shot dead by the British Army after the Warrenpoint explosion.

The interview took place after Taoiseach, Jack Lynch stated "it would be counter productive for RUC officers to cross the Border to conduct interviews".

The revelation that the RUC had crossed the Border, and the general acceptance that the British Army had shot dead an innocent man after the Narrow Water bomb exploded added considerably to the heightened tension in the entire North Louth area.

Mr. Hudson who refused to confirm to the 'Argus' that the interview had taken place with the RUC did however speak exclusively to this paper about the shooting, and revealed that both the Gardai and the RUC were satisfied that neither he nor his cousin, William 'Bill' Hudson had any part to play in the attack on the British Army.

Recalling the incident in his interview Mr. Hudson said that he had been in Omeath since August 15th as his family owned amusements which were operating in the village as part of the Gala Week.

"On the day of the bombing my mother was preparing a meal in the caravan on the site when we heard an explosion and smoke coming from the direction of the Lough. My mother and myself went to investigate and Bill remained on the site to look after the amusements" said Mr. Hudson.

He added that later when they returned to the site Bill and himself decided to drive down to the area where the explosion came from. They left the car at the top of the road and other people who were there advised them that there might be shooting from the other side of the Lough.

They ignored that advice and walked down to the edge of the shore. "As soon as we arrived at the shore we heard bullets hitting the road, although at first we did not know that they were bullets. We thought that it was pieces from the bombs hitting the road but we soon realised we were wrong when I was winged by a bullet on the arm" said Mr. Hudson.

"I shouted to Bill to run for cover, but seconds later Bill was hit in the head".

Mr. Hudson ran for help and when he returned Gardai were at the scene and told him his cousin was dead.

Mr. Hudson accepted that they may have been foolish to rush to the scene but added "we were strangers to the area and didn't fully appreciate the dangers".

After the incident there were claims that shots were fired from the Omeath side of the Lough following the explosion that killed the 18 soldiers but Mr. Hudson said "I certainly didn't hear any shots or see any gunmen in the vicinity of where I was, but I cannot say for definite, no more than anyone else, if there were shots fired from the Republic side of the Border".