Personal Stories

Jim Morrison’s Story

I was born 5th June 1932 at 47 Bessboro Avenue, North Strand Road. My parents were Edward Morrison and Brigid Butterly.  Father lived in Shaw Street; Mother came from Baldoyle, Co. Dublin. And the people from Baldoyle always said we are going to Dublin. It was an excursion in those days.  I should have said there were one girl and four boys in the family. I was the third eldest.  Life was very simple when we were children in so far as people were all on the same level.  People never heard the word Nationalism.  We would not have known what it meant.  They were happy times. People were content. They were happy days as we did not need a lot to amuse ourselves.  I suppose a big happening in my life was the North Strand bombings. In May ‘41 we were living in Bessboro Avenue at the time beside the North Strand cinema built in 1936 which protected us to some degree.  I and two brothers were asleep in a double bed. The noise of the planes etc wakened us and when the bomb fell on the North Strand we heard a whistle before the explosions.  We seemed to sense danger as we braced ourselves before the bomb fell. I was nine years old at the time and attending the St Vincent de Paul School in North William Street very near where the bomb fell.  School was closed for a period as there were damage and traffic restrictions.  It was a beautiful morning next day and we were up early going around the area and child like if we found a piece of waste metal we would say say that’s a bit of the bomb, I suppose we were too young to appreciate the seriousness of the situation but young enough to remember there were beautiful leaded lights (windows) of Biblical figures on all the windows shattered. They were never replaced because it was too expensive at the time. Priests from the Church attended the injured.  The roofs and ceilings were replaced at no charge where we lived.  I remember buildings in the aftermath of damage being pulled down by men tying rope around the chimneys and using a lorry to pull the dangerous buildings down.  Also a lady who lived in our avenue suggested we all go to Fairview Park as there were no buildings in the park to fall on us. However, in hindsight, I think this was not such a good idea.

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

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