Ann Ryder’s Story

I was six when the bombs fell. All I remember is the loud noise. My parents were awake. They told me to go back to sleep as they said it was only thunder. I recall that my mother was standing on a chair with her head out of the window. My father was in bed telling her to get down for god’s sake. We lived beside Croke Park so my mother could see that something had happened beyond Croke Park on the North Circular Road.  I went to William Street School. Every window in the school was broken so we had not school for a while.  The lovely windows in the Church were in smithereens.  We went down next day to the site but were not allowed near it.  I remember the gas masks; we kept them under the stairs. That’s where my father told us we would have to go if bombs fell again. The air raid shelters were filthy and no one would go into them. We had an air-raid practice every Saturday morning when the siren would go off. Then the siren came on again-the all clear. I think we were supposed to go to the shelters. We never did.

Editor’s Note: Memories written at Fighting Words Writing Workshop on North Strand Bombing at Casino Forum Group, Marino, Dublin 3 on 17 June 2011

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