Personal Stories

David Whyte’s Story

At the time of the bombing I was 6 years old and lived with my parents in Leinster Avenue.  I was asleep with my brothers in the back bedroom, when I was woken by my family talking to each other.  My father was looking out of the window which looked out towards Amiens St.  We could see searchlights and then the flash and bang of guns firing. We heard the engine noise of aircraft and then a bright flash, a moment of silence and then a massive bang. The house shook and the windows rattled. The next day we tried to see the damage but we were turned away. After a couple of days we managed to get as far as the bridge over the canal. There was a crowd there and I remember a bicycle with a box at the front selling ice cream.  There was a big hole in the road halfway up the hill towards the bridge.  All the shops and houses were just rubble with a strong smell of smoke and dust.  I hoped we would have time off school which was next to the Ivy Church, but things were soon back to normal.  Does anyone know why we were bombed?  I remember people saying that the railway line to Belfast or the docks was the target due to food aid being sent to the UK.  The left hand side of the area leading towards the 5 ways was built on.  The other side remained an empty site into the 1950s.  After the bombing there was a lot of rumours and I remember the Army drilling holes in the supports for explosives to be put in the Railway Bridge over the River Tolka and carrying out manoeuvres in Fairview Park which to us kids was exciting.

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