It has always been a puzzle to me why Ireland stayed ‘neutral’ during WWII. Aside from the German attacks on Irish merchants ships. The country was also bombed several times in deliberate acts of war against the republic.
On 26 August 1940, the German Luftwaffe bombed Campile in broad daylight. Three women were killed Mary Ellen Kent (30), her sister Catherine Kent (26), both from Terrerath, and Kathleen Hurley (27) from Garryduff. Four German bombs were dropped on the creamery and restaurant sections of Shelbourne Co-op on that day.
The railway was also targeted by the bombers. The attack has never been fully explained, although there are numerous theories as to why the bombing occurred. In 1943, the German government paid £9000 in compensation.
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the bombing, a plaque was erected on the co-op walls in memory of the three women.
20 December 1940: At approximately 7:30 in the evening, two bombs fell on Sandycove near Dún Laoghaire (the first at the junction of Rosmeen Park and Summerhill Road and the second between Rosmeen Park and Rosmeen Gardens), injuring three people. A third bomb fell about half an hour later near Carrickmacross in County Monaghan, slightly injuring one person.
1–2 January 1941: bombs fell in Counties Meath, Carlow, Kildare, Wicklow, Wexford and Dublin. In Meath, five bombs fell at Duleek and three at Julianstown, without casualties;In Carlow, a house in Knockroe was destroyed, killing three people and injuring two others;In Kildare three high explosive, as well as many incendiary, bombs fell in the Curragh area; two sea mines were dropped by parachute near Enniskerry in Kildare; Ballymurrin in Wexford saw three German bombs fall without casualties;and in Dublin, German bombs hit Terenure, two falling at Rathdown Park, with another two at Fortfield Road and Lavarna Grove,with injuries but no loss of life.
3 January 1941: Dublin was again hit by the German Luftwaffe, with bombs falling on Donore Terrace in the South Circular Road area with 20 people injured. Just before 4 am on the morning of 3 January 1941, a bomb fell at the rear of the houses located at 91 and 93 Donore Terrace in the South Circular Road area of Dublin Three houses were destroyed and approximately fifty others damaged. Donore Presbyterian Church, the attached school and the Jewish Synagogue in Donore were also damaged. 20 people were injured, but there was no loss of life.
At approximately 2 am on 31 May 1941, four German bombs dropped on north Dublin.[One bomb fell in the Ballybough area, demolishing the two houses at 43 and 44 Summerhill Park,injuring many but with no loss of life. A second fell at the Dog Pond pumping works near the Zoo in Phoenix Park, with no casualties but damaging Áras an Uachtaráin, the official residence of the Irish President (Douglas Hyde at the time).
A third made a large crater in the North Circular Road near Summerhill, again causing no injuries. A fourth fell in North Strand destroying 17 houses and severely damaging about 50 others, the worst damage occurring in the area between Seville Place and Newcomen Bridge. The raid claimed the lives of 28 people,injured 90, destroyed or damaged approximately 300 houses, and left 400 people homeless.
One of the pilots said after the war that Belfast had been the target but mistakenly they bombed Dublin instead. However no explanation was ever given about the Wexford bombing.
However William Joyce AKA Lord Haw Haw had mentioned that Ireland would be bombed in his Nazi propaganda broadcasts.