Mike Connolly was 5 at the time of the bombing, and living in Shelmartin Avenue, Fairview. His grandmother lived close to the Five Lamps and the site of the bombing. His father was a member of the auxiliary fire-brigade, and also worked for Dublin Corporation. Mike recalls the events of 30 May, and his memories of walking through bomb site. Mike also speaks of his brother who joined Irish Army and operated a Bren gun, witnessing a dogfight in Fairview, the glimmer man, Lord Haw Haw, Christmas time during the Emergency and attending a military tattoo in the RDS.
I remember the night of the North Strand bombing well. I was five years old at the time and our family lived in Fairview. My grandmother and some of her family were living at 58 Sean McDermott Street at the time. During the night we heard the bombs going off on the North Strand. My father, who was an ex fireman, was in the auxiliary fire service and he was up and out on the street telling our neighbours to switch off their house lights. I remember he had a black overcoat on over his pyjamas at the time. When he saw where the glow he immediately got dressed and decided it must be close to his mother’s house and set off on his bike to see if his mother and other family members were Okay.
We sat up waiting for him to return and report on the situation. When he arrived home he said that there was no damage done to the family home and there were no family members injured. He did say that there was a good deal of damage. A day or two later we walked through the area and I saw some trucks with cables attached to dangerous buildings pulling down damaged masonry. There was a shop on the street before you got to the Five Lamps which we used to pass regularly and it had a large electric clock affixed to the front wall and I remember noticing that only he frame of the clock was left on its bracket as the mechanism had been blown out by the force of the explosion.