Alfreda’s Story

[Audio version available]

My father Francis O’Brien lived on Ossory Rd, the night of the 31st stayed with him always. His sister Marie ran to his room and pulled him and the bed upside down as the wall came in, saving his life! My grandfather Francis Senior had past war experience in the medical and went about helping those that were injured. He also collected as many remains for later identification. Francis Senior was an inspector in the Dublin Gas Co, and lit the main gas pipe to stop a further explosion and ran the risk of arrest! (They said he was signalling the Germans!) All my father’s family where involved in the St. John’s Ambulance and jumped to action. My dad acted as a runner for messages with other young boys. He told of the bravery of a local priest that went into a basement of a house where a man was impaled and stayed with him till he died and just before the house collapsed.  The stories are many.  Whole families lost. My father never thought he’d live to see a similar thing only to be caught up in the tragedy in Talbot Street years later.

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