independent

Thursday 15 November 2018

Airport worker was killed by 1975 bombing

THE RECENT security scares at Dublin Airport has brought back painful memories for one Swords woman who was widowed 30 years ago by a UDA bomb planted at the Airport.When the bomb went off, killing Aer Lingus worker John Hayes, his wife Monica was waiting at home for him to return from work.Monicas husband never made it home that day and she was greeted instead by the

By John Manning

THE RECENT security scares at Dublin Airport has brought back painful memories for one Swords woman who was widowed 30 years ago by a UDA bomb planted at the Airport.

When the bomb went off, killing Aer Lingus worker John Hayes, his wife Monica was waiting at home for him to return from work.

Monica’s husband never made it home that day and she was greeted instead by the then Chief Executive of Aer Lingus, David Kennedy, who told Monica that a bomb had gone off at Dublin Airport and that her husband was missing.

Monica told the Fingal Independent that she had heard reports of the bomb on the radio but never considered that her husband was in danger.

When she saw the Aer Lingus Chief Executive standing in her doorway, she feared the worst.

Apparently the bomb was hidden in a toilet tissue dispenser and went off after John Hayes had washed his hands. A second bomb was safely detonated by the bomb squad and the building was evacuated.

Three hours later, John’s body was found and the difficult task of identifying him fell to his brother, Liam, who died two years ago.

In a cruel twist, John should not have even been working that day. A colleague had asked to swop shifts with him and he had generously obliged.

At the time, the couple were living in Balbriggan with their three-year-old son and 11-year-old twins. What happened on November 29, 1975 changed the Hayes family forever.

Monica never remarried and has lived a quiet life in Swords for the last 25 years until the recent security scares at Dublin Airport brought the sad episode to the forefront of her mind once again.

‘It has brought the whole thing back again. It was even in the paper again today,’ Monica told the Fingal Independent.

Monica feels the 1975 bomb has been forgotten by most people. ‘I don’t know if it is because just one man died or if they have tried to sweep it under the carpet - you just don’t know with these things,’ Monica said.

Monica and her son have got involved in the last two years with the Justice for the Forgotten campaign which seeks to uncover the truth behind a spate of loyalist bombings in the Republic in the 1970s.

She hopes to get closer to the truth of who killed her late husband when Justice Barron reports on the 1975 bombing later this year.

For now, Monica is preparing for November when the 30th anniversary of her husband’s death occurs.



It was always going to be a tough year for the Hayes family but stories of fake bombs being smuggled through security in Dublin Airport have made the year that much harder to bear for the Swords family.

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