“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.
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.
My family lived in the Fairview area of Dublin near the North Strand. I was one of eleven children. When the bombs fell on the North Strand my Father George Murphy was the ARP leader of our area. He told of horrific casualties on that night. He pulled many people out of the bombed buildings. Everybody was in a state of shock. He told of many heroes helping people and putting their own lives in jeopardy. Many others provided food and shelter to the survivors. There was a lot of fear in the area, as people thought we would get bombed again. My father made the family go in the arch that divided our houses whenever planes would go overhead. For years after the war my brothers and I would play with the helmets and gas masks left from that time.
My mother, Nancy Dowling, was back in Dublin (she had moved to England in the late 1920s) and staying with her sister in Buckingham St Buildings when the bombing occurred. She had given birth to my sister Anne, a few weeks earlier in the Rotunda. Three elder children were evacuees back in the north of England. My mother had left London to escape the Blitz and have her fourth child in relative peace. On the night in question she had gone to the pictures leaving her new-born child in the care of her sister. During the film she thought she had heard thunder outside but when she left the cinema she realised that the Luftwaffe had followed her to Dublin. She hurried back to Buckingham Street and was relieved to find that the bombs had fallen elsewhere. More than that she was relieved to discover that although the windows of the flat had been blown in the bottle of milk she had left cooling in a saucepan of cold water on the windowsill was still intact!