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Dublin: 19°C Friday 24 September 2021

On this day 41 years ago, bombs ripped through Dublin and Monaghan

33 people died in the bombings, with hundreds more injured.

ON THIS DAY 41 years ago, four bombs exploded in Dublin and Monaghan – killing 33 people including a woman who was nine months pregnant.

Three car bombs exploded without warning in the capital shortly before 5.30pm on Friday 17 May 1974.

Two of the bombs went off on Talbot and Parnell Streets before a third blast exploded on South Leinster Street near Trinity College, 27 people died.

Shortly afterwards another bomb exploded outside a pub in Monaghan, killing seven people. Hundreds more were injured.

It was the single worst day during the Troubles in terms of human loss.

Source: Broadsheet Ie/YouTube

In the aftermath of the coordinated attacks, then Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave condemned the atrocities:

I do not know which evil men did this but everyone who has practised violence or preached violence or condoned violence must bear his share of responsiblility. It will bring home to us what the people of Northern Ireland have been suffering for five long years.

Witness John Casey, who was walking into a Talbot Street hotel when the bomb went off, recalled what happened in an interview with the BBC, stating: “Hundreds of people were in the street. They were running and screaming aimlessly.

“A newspaper stand was blown into the air past me and the newsboy next to it just disappeared in front of my eyes.”

Source: Oisín Ó Dubhláin/YouTube

Both the Ulster Defence Association in Belfast and the Provisional IRA denied planting the bombs.

Police later discovered that all four cars had Ulster registration plates and two of them had been hijacked in Protestant areas in Belfast.

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Speaking at an event to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the bombings last year, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said those who died in the attacks “will never be forgotten”.

Dublin Monaghan Bombing Anniversaries Gertie Shields, niece of Consepta Dempsey - who died at the Talbot Street bombing in Dublin. Source: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

33rd anniversary of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings Caitriona and Shane O'Brien lay flowers at the memorial on Dublin's Talbot Street. Their grandmother Anne Byrne was killed in the bombing.

Nobody has ever been charged with the bombings and there have been widespread allegations of collusion between loyalist paramilitaries and British security and intelligence services.

At a commemoration ceremony in Dublin yesterday, families of the victims again called on the British government to release documents about the attacks.

“Reconciliation will only be lasting when it is based on truth”: 1974 bombings marked in Dublin ceremonies

Families to sue British Government over Dublin-Monaghan bombings

About the author:

Órla Ryan

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