Personal Stories

Michael O’Hanrahan’s Story

At the date of the North Strand bombing, I was just over 6 yrs old and living on Whitehall Road in Terenure. Normally, on Sunday afternoons, our family of parents and three children, of which I was in the middle, went for a long walk into the countryside beyond Kimmage Manor. Bizarrely, on Sunday 31st May, 1941 we took a crowded 54 bus into town and joined hordes of other citizens headed for the North Strand. I recall walking along the canal towpath which provided a rear view of the bombed houses. The view of those houses, many with their rear back-walls demolished providing a cut-off view into their interiors and the sight of rescue services at work in their ruins is clearly etched in my memory and remains with me as my earliest dateable memory. I retain a sense of guilt at the voyeurism in which I shared on that Sunday afternoon with thousands of other Dubliners.

From about the same time, I recall joining other mass-goers who, after Sunday mass, diverted from their usual route home to view the remains of a bungalow in Rathdown Park which had taken a direct hit.

I hope this recollection adds to the memories of these sad events of almost seventy years ago.

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