I was a very little girl of 3 at the time, but remember clearly. It is probably my earliest memory. We lived in Seville Place, and myself and 2 brothers were in bed when all the windows were blown in on top of us. We were covered with broken glass and my Mother was so upset and worried as my father was away at the time. My mother gathered us up…put the baby into the pram, I was put onto the pram sitting and my 5 yr old brother had to walk alongside. My Mother pushed us to her parent’s home at Fairview. I clearly remember her having to argue with uniformed people (probably police) to let her past with us at the corner of Seville Place and Amiens Street. It is as clear as yesterday in my memory.
The bomb site must have been boarded up for several years before it was redeveloped. The baby I mentioned who was put into the pram must have been about 6 yrs old when he had a bad accident on the site several years later. My mother, as well as other mothers in the locality, warned us children never to dare to try to play in the boarded up bomb site, but being young children, of course we all climbed in….it was a wonderful adventure playground!! There was always a loose plank we could squeeze through. (In those days we were allowed to play outside on the street.) However the young brother caught his thigh on a rusty nail. We others were too scared to mention it at home as we had been so disobedient to play there in the first place and knew we would be in serious trouble. When my mother eventually found the wound at our weekly bath time, it had become very septic and he had to be rushed to the hospital to have it lanced and cleaned up. He still has the scar! We were in serious trouble and ‘grounded’ as the saying goes today. Never mind the slipper across our backsides!
Our old house, beside Mr Stanley’s sweetie shop (the house was owned by him too) has now been demolished. The Dairy on the corner and our old house site have now been absorbed into the undertakers which now take up the whole corner (…I could tell you a few stories about the undertakers and Dairy too.) Mr Stanley’s sweetie shop always had a collection tin on his counter for ‘the little black babies in Africa’ . I can still picture the lovely image of a child on the front of the tin. Each week one of my more affluent Uncles gave each of us 3 children a sixpenny piece to buy sweeties. That was a fortune to us youngsters. We would all go into Stanley’s and were allowed by my mother to have a couple of little bags of sweeties which had to last all week. I then religiously put my small change into the collection box on the counter. It couldn’t have been more that a couple of coppers. I initially went to St Lawrence O’Toole school until I was about 7 and then sent to Holy Faith Convent in Clontarf until we went to live in Hong Kong where my Father was stationed.
My mother was almost the eldest of a large family. Years later I visited Dublin and was talking about old times with one of her much younger sisters. I mentioned the bombs and her daughter (i.e. my much younger cousin) had not been aware that some of the family had been there at the time. However she had heard about it in history at school!
How old do you think I felt!