On the night of the bombing I was awakened by the sound of Anti-Aircraft guns firing on a lone German bomber. I did not hear the first two bombs that fell at North Circular Road and Richmond Cottages, but everyone in the area certainly heard the enormous explosion of the land mine that rocked the whole area around the Royal Canal. I was thrown out of my bed by the force. My brother, who slept in the same bed, slept through all the noise and was quite annoyed when I woke him.
Larry Halpin, who was coming home late that night, was blown through our hall door. Both he and the door landed at the foot of our stairs. After the initial shock most of our family came out to see the damage. All the roofs in Clonmore Terrace were very badly damaged. Many ceilings were damaged and fell down. Dozens of windows were smashed. I remember seeing dozens of dead cats with no apparent wounds lying about. Next morning I went to Coláiste Mhuire in Parnell Square where we were to have a final
pep talk on the Leaving Cert which was to start on Monday morning. I was treated as a hero and cheered as many, knowing that I lived in the Royal Canal area, feared that I might be among the dead.
It was a great tragedy when one considers the number of deaths that occurred. Many houses were completely destroyed and survivors were housed in West Cabra.
Editor’s Note: The above account is reproduced with the kind permission of Fr. Brian Lawless, St. Agatha’s Church, North William Street.