Alleged INLA feud shooting
IN January 1987, death came suddenly in the afternoon lounge of the Rossnaree Hotel.Four men sat inside the doorway of the lounge, having orange and sandwiches and chatting quietly. A girl employee busied herself behind the bar. Three other customers women on their way home to Dublin after a funeral in Drogheda sat in another part of the lounge.Suddenly the doo
IN January 1987, death came suddenly in the afternoon lounge of the Rossnaree Hotel.
Four men sat inside the doorway of the lounge, having orange and sandwiches and chatting quietly. A girl employee busied herself behind the bar. Three other customers – women on their way home to Dublin after a funeral in Drogheda – sat in another part of the lounge.
Suddenly the door opened and two men, one of them wearing what could have been a false beard, walked in and immediately opened fire with a handgun.
One of the men died in the doorway of the hotel. Another managed to stagger to the centre of the main Dublin Road outside the hotel where he was found by a doctor who happened to be passing by.
Of the two men injured in the shooting, one had a hand wound and the other was shot in the stomach. They were taken by ambulance to the Lourdes Hospital.
The two men who died were members of the INLA and the shooting is thought to have been related to an internal feud. The dead – Thomas Power and John Gerard O’Reilly – were both from Belfast.
The shooting caused deep shock to the hotel’s management. None of the men who had been shot had been seen in the hotel previous to the incident nor had they been booked into the premises.
There were conflicting claims about the reasons for the shooting. One report quoted the INLA as claiming responsibility for the shooting, while another quoted the IRSP as stating that the shootings were not the result of an internal feud.
15 years ago
IN January 1992, a 59-year-old Dublin man appeared in court in London charged with the murder of 44-year-old Drogheda man Frank Reilly.
Mr Reilly, formerly of 120 Hardman’s Gardens, was found dead, reportedly strangled, in his flat at Canning Town in East London. A police spokesperson said the body had been in the flat for five days.
Frank Reilly had been living in London for 26 years. His family were in deep shock after learning of the death from Drogheda gardaí.
Meanwhile, Louth County Council lashed out at local disco owners for allegedly selling alcohol to underage teenagers in over-priced and over-crowded discos and called on the gardaí to extend its Christmas drink driving campaign throughout the year.
Cllr Oliver Tully said statistics available in Drogheda showed that 11-year-olds were availing of drink in some of these discos.
In industrial news, Brother Industries based in Drogheda, confirmed that 24 employees accepted voluntary redundancy.
A spokesperson for the company said it had no alternative but to offer voluntary redundancy. He said that like many companies, Brother Industries was feeling the effect of the recession. The electronics trade had been particularly badly hit.
The spokesperson added that when business picked up, these people would be offered their jobs back.
10 years ago
THERE were fears for the future of Drogheda Port in January 1997 as the long running dockers’ dispute hit a new low.
Members of the Drogheda Deep Sea Dockers’ Association rejected a Labour Court recommendation which they claimed would see their rates drop by over 70%.
Shipping company Butterly’s, who accepted the Labour Court recommendation, said time was running out. In a statement the firm claimed the deadline for EU funding for the development of Tom Roe’s Point could be missed because of the dispute.
Meanwhile, a gang of thieves left a Drogheda hardware store empty-handed when their ‘steal to order’ bid went wrong.
The carefully planned robbery at Eddie’s Hardware was thwarted at the last minute when a security gate stopped the gang in their tracks. The raiders desperately tried to smash through a gate at the Scarlet Street premises after working meticulously through the night to fill a lorry with over £25,000 worth of hand picked goods.
The raid had gone exactly to plan until the last minute when they could not make their escape.
In January 1997, the town was visited by President Mary Robinson, who described herself as a Freewoman of Drogheda to the town’s senior citizens.
In a special visit to the local Day Care Centre, President Robinson said she not only could admire but could also feel proud of the achievements at the Fair Street centre as she was a freewoman of the town.
It was business as usual at the Community Services Centre when the President dropped in for an informal visit.
Chatting with staff and members of the centre as they took part in their art and exercise class, the president paid tribute to the ‘spirit of loving, caring excellence’ evident there.