Clearing up......1974

We all have stories and memory's of the past times, and this section is for young and old to share their memories, or those stories told to them by older family members.
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joanne
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Clearing up......1974

#1 Post by joanne » Sun Jan 06, 2013 10:26 am

Photo taken from Facebook...posted by Margaret Rowntree(Patsy Rafferty's daughter)I hope this hasn't been posted before,if it has I don't remember seeing it.

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Brian
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Re: Clearing up......1974

#2 Post by Brian » Sun Jan 06, 2013 11:44 am

Great photo and I have never seen it before, a reminder also for some of the younger ones that we certainly did not escape "the troubles". That bomb caused massive damage and disruption all over Church street - even our own house (33) and those further away did not escape damage with cracked windows and ceilings. In fact, one memory that stands out is a few months after the bomb the ceiling in our bedroom came down rather suddenly - lucky enough we heard it creaking, and were able to get out of bed before it came down. It just just missed my bed but landed full square on top of Neil's. I don't remember an awful lot about it (I was only 11 back then) but I think Teresa from next door was babysitting (or possibly Meta Wilson) and she had to go and find the rest of the family to come back and help clean up. Quite a few nervous nights were spent then wondering if the rest would come down..

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Re: Clearing up......1974

#3 Post by Charlotte's Treat » Sun Jan 06, 2013 11:58 am

Just as a matter of interest who did it and what was the intended target? This one just before my time and haven't seen a picture of it before either.

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Re: Clearing up......1974

#4 Post by Brian » Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:04 pm

The target was the post office. quite a few of them were targeted in the 70's as well as other so called commercial "targets" They were very dark days and while this area escaped many of the atrocities that were carried out back then we certainly did not escape the bombs. All of the hotels in the area were targeted a few years after this, and it's well documented on Wikipedia and other external sites without me going into detail here.

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Re: Clearing up......1974

#5 Post by tufty » Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:52 pm

I remember the night the ceiling fell,as I was reading in bed when minute pieces of plaster(more like dust) started to drop onto the comic I was reading.I looked up but the crack didn't appear any larger,so I just kept reading.About 1 min after that some slightly larger bits fell (bird seed size) and I said to Brian that I thought the ceiling was going to fall."Don't be stupid" was the reply,so I stayed in bed,reading,but with a few more upward glances.Then the pieces became larger again and this time I got out of bed,crossed the room to Brian and showed him the pieces that had gathered on my comic."Probably just the wind" was the retort this time,which I replied to with the intelligence of any nine year old boy "I'm not sleeping in that bed,you can!".
Within seconds the ceiling collapsed ( old lathe and plaster,certainly not lightweight) right on top of where I was lying,the room was filled with a smoke like effect caused by the plaster dust and of course the obligatory silence that follows events like these.I didn't know that many swear words at that age,but I think I used up my full repertoire with full effect.
It was Teresa who was child-minding that night,as I at least(being the youngest) had ceased being a baby a few years earlier.
The search for the adults didn't take long,as Mum and Dad,Nan and Granda were all round at Bob Mathews.(where the Whistledown is for those too young to remember).
One other thing,when we were all helping to clean up,there was a profusion of bird seed all around, a past relic from when Victor kept and bred budgies in the attic.

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Re: Clearing up......1974

#6 Post by dabarry » Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:39 pm

I remember that incident very clearly.

Having worked in Belfast through the height of the troubles, it was nice to be
down in an area that had escaped most of the mayhem.

On my way from Kilkeel I was surprised to be stopped entering the town because
of a bomb blast.

Using my knowledge of the streets I was able to make my way to the Newry road,
only to be stopped by the Security Forces and asked to explain my presence in the
area.

Since I was 40miles from home my explanation was viewed with some suspicion,
particularily as the English soldiers seemed to think I must be a relative of
Kevin Barry.

Trying times indeed.

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Re: Clearing up......1974

#7 Post by xpaddy » Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:40 pm

What a terrible thing to happen.
Lucky you both escaped unharmed.

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Re: Clearing up......1974

#8 Post by xpaddy » Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:51 pm

Joanne - I hadn't seen this picture
before either, and didn't know this
had happened, to that part of town.,
so thanks for posting it.
Lucky nobody was killed.

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Re: Clearing up......1974

#9 Post by xpaddy » Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:55 pm

dabarry wrote:I remember that incident very clearly.

Having worked in Belfast through the height of the troubles, it was nice to be
down in an area that had escaped most of the mayhem.

On my way from Kilkeel I was surprised to be stopped entering the town because
of a bomb blast.

Using my knowledge of the streets I was able to make my way to the Newry road,
only to be stopped by the Security Forces and asked to explain my presence in the
area.

Since I was 40miles from home my explanation was viewed with some suspicion,
particularily as the English soldiers seemed to think I must be a relative of
Kevin Barry.

Trying times indeed.
You were lucky you weren't going through the
town, when it happened.

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Re: Clearing up......1974

#10 Post by fishylady » Sun Jan 06, 2013 4:51 pm

I remember it very well
All our ceilings got damaged.
And the cracks are still visible.

Wouldn't.want anything like
It again.

Many had sad homes.

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Re: Clearing up......1974

#11 Post by patMG07 » Sun Jan 06, 2013 6:30 pm

It was a sunny Sunday evening in early May 1974 when that bomb exploded. The area had thankfully been cleared for some time and the army had been working to make the area safe. I can remember one of those helicopters with a glass 'dome' type cockpit (? Bell) had circled the town for some time before the blast and there had been a great deal of concern about the proximity of Paddy Magill's petrol storage tanks. My mother's shop in Duke Street lost its Windows and I remember finding small/pieces of jagged metal out the back over the following days....parts of the car that exploded I assumed.

A bit eerie to come across such a reminder of the dark days and like all good people I pray they never return. I recall seeing a similar photo some years back in Sean Daly's barber shop.....perhaps the same one

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Re: Clearing up......1974

#12 Post by Himself » Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:08 pm

I remember that day and the incident very well. I had gone to our house up Pinewood Hill and told mum and dad that there was a bomb in the square. Dad opened all the windows in the house while I just stood there looking at the square. I saw the bomb explode, that is, a load of debris rose above the houses, but there was no sound. It was very very strange, debris and smoke, but complete silence. It was a second or two after detonation that the sound wave went across the lough and bounced back off the mountains before I heard it. I'll never forget that incident.

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Re: Clearing up......1974

#13 Post by patMG07 » Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:09 pm

Just looking closely at the photo, could the man facing the camera (standing in front of 'McClorey & Sherry's') be the late Frank McClorey Snr. , inspecting the damage to his shop?

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Re: Clearing up......1974

#14 Post by Brian » Sun Nov 22, 2015 8:31 pm

Photos of the same event by Derek McKinley

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Re: Clearing up......1974

#15 Post by TGM » Mon Nov 30, 2015 3:56 pm

Photo by the late Seamus Magee
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