“Our Dublin of today is very much a product of past experiences and a sharing of our history is very important to Dublin today.”
Lord Mayor of Dublin, Councillor Eibhlin Byrne.
On the night of 30-31 May 1941 four high explosive bombs were dropped by German aircraft on the North Strand, killing 28, injuring over 90, and destroying 300 houses.
Were you an eyewitness to these events? Or perhaps you have stories or anecdotes, which have been passed on to you by older friends or relatives? Your memories are history. Dublin City Archives wishes to collect and preserve them for future generations of Dubliners. Add your experiences to the history of the North Strand Bombing by submitting your story using the submission form below or alternatively by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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On the night of 30-31 May 1941 four bombs were dropped by German aircraft on the North Strand area of Dublin, killing 28, injuring over 90, and destroying 300 houses. To commemorate the 75th Anniversary of this tragedy, a special event will be held at Charleville Mall Library on 31 May 2016 at 2.30 pm. Historian and archivist of St John Ambulance Brigade Pádraig Allen will outline how the Brigade who were on duty coped with the injured and dying in North Strand, drawing on previously unseen records from the St. John Ambulance Brigade archive. The North Strand Bombing Exhibition devised by Dublin City Archives will be on display and extracts from the Dublin City Archives Oral History Project with survivors of the bombing will also be played.
“SORRY LADS, HAVE TO BE HOME BEFORE HALF PAST EIGHT.”
It had been a balmy summers evening, the Friday of the Whit Weekend. We were playing football on Sandymount beach, and my team were not impressed about my departure. I walked home and was sent sent straight to bed before 9 o’clock, so as to be bright and cheerful for my very special day tomorrow. My mother woke me at 6.15 – 2 hours earlier than originally scheduled! She explained she had been awake all night with the noise of our windows shaking from what she thought was an earthquake. But upon listening to the first radio news bulletin of the day at 6.00 a.m. she learned that bombs had been dropped on the North Strand, 7 kms from us. The date was 31st May, 1941 – the day of my First Holy Communion. Read the rest of this entry »
Maura Clarke (née Roche), Brendan Roche and Vincent Roche
Maura Clarke, Brendan Roche, and Vincent Roche are three siblings, whose father ran a barber’s shop on the North Strand Road in 1941. The shop was completely destroyed on the night of the bombing, and it was nine months before Mr Roche was to re-open a new premise in Kimmage, after receiving a small sum of compensation. Brendan and Vincent discuss their memories of visiting the North Strand area in the aftermath of the bombing, and salvaging shop furniture from the ruins.
Peter Mulvany, co-ordinator of the Trinity College Dublin War Memorial Project:
I have recently become aware of a batch of Luftwaffe photographs showing area of Dublin City and County in July August and December 1940. The Liffey Dockyard photos are relevant to my family, as on the 24 Dec 1940, the date of the photo taken by the Germans over the dockyard, my father was working in the dockyard all day until very late that Christmas Eve. No doubt there are other families in the Dublin North Inner City and further afield who would not have seen these photos and will hopefully be of some help and inform the wider debate. With that in mind, I now have a new webpage online with some background and various links to sources, see Irishseamensrelativesassociation.com/Northstrandbombings1941 and a slideshow of photographs. These photos have been redited to enhance the picture and make it easier to view. The slideshow buttons on bottom of the page can adjust to full screen if required.
These Luftwaffe aerial photos show Dublin City and County, including the Liffey Dockyard, North Strand and Trinity College Dublin. The markings in black have been done by a Luffwaffe photographic imagist and are very accurate which was not normally a practice of the Germans. In many cases Luftwaffe aerial photographs taken over the UK were unreliable and imprecise because the Nazis had no backup eyes on the ground intelligence to establish as to what was what. In contrast, the Dublin photos are very accurate indeed which suggest that the Nazis had other info to inform their Dublin maps.
Michael Carrick was 11 in 1941, and living in flat at 155 North Strand Road. He tells the remarkable story of how he and his family climbed through rubble to safety after the bomb destroyed the front half of their entire building, killing the Foran couple in the basement flat below them. He also vividly recalls the events in the days and weeks after the bombing when the family were cared for firstly by the nuns, and then by the Irish Red Cross in Mespil Street. His family were later rehoused in Cabra West.
NSB_01: 153-164 North Strand Road, highlighting the destruction caused to the street where Michael lived.