Dublin and Monaghan bombings

the-scene-of-car-bomb-explosions-by-british-state-backed-terrorists-during-the-dublin-monaghan-bombings-of-may-1974

The Dublin and Monaghan bombings of 17 May 1974 were a series of co-ordinated bombings in Dublin and Monaghan, Ireland. Three bombs exploded in Dublin during rush hour and a fourth exploded in Monaghan almost ninety minutes later.

They killed 34 civilians including a full-term unborn child, and injured almost 300. The bombings were the deadliest attack of the conflict known as the Troubles, and the deadliest attack in the Republic’s history.Most of the victims were young women, although the ages of the dead ranged from five months to 80 year.

The Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), a loyalist paramilitary group from Northern Ireland, claimed responsibility for the bombings in 1993. It had launched a number of attacks in the Republic since 1969. There are allegations taken seriously by inquiries that elements of the British state security forces helped the UVF carry out the bombings, including members of the Glenanne gang. Some of these allegations have come from former members of the security forces. The Irish parliament’s Joint Committee on Justice called the attacks an act of international terrorism involving British state forces.The month before the bombings, the British government had lifted the UVF’s status as a proscribed organisation.

Two of the bombs went off on Talbot and Parnell Streets before a third blast exploded on South Leinster Street near Trinity College, 27 people died.

4983626566_409f1eb948_b

Shortly afterwards another bomb exploded outside a pub in Monaghan, killing seven people. Hundreds more were injured.

In the aftermath of the coordinated attacks, then Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave condemned the atrocities:

28

I do not know which evil men did this but everyone who has practised violence or preached violence or condoned violence must bear his share of responsiblility. It will bring home to us what the people of Northern Ireland have been suffering for five long years.

Derek Byrne was just 14 and only a week into his first job working as a petrol pump attendant. Just as he was filling a car with petrol, a huge explosion struck on Parnell Street.

parnell

His injuries were so horrific that emergency services thought he had died. He recalls waking up in a hospital mortuary.

“I just remember pulling back the sheets and then the lady in the morgue, she ran out,” he says.

“I don’t know whether it was hospital porters or doctors who came in. I was put on a trolley and brought straight to theatre. I was 18 hours in theatre and then 12 weeks in a coma after that.”

After the blasts, bystanders rushed to help the wounded, and emergency response personnel were on the scene within minutes. Hospitals across Dublin were put on standby to receive casualties. However, rescue operations in Dublin were hampered by heavy traffic due to the bus strike. Rescuers, feeling that help was not coming fast enough, lifted the dead and wounded, wrapped them in coats and bundled them into cars to get them to the nearest hospital.[Garda Síochána squad cars escorted surgeons through the crowded streets to attend the wounded. Many people, on finding out what had happened, went straight away to offer blood.

Paddy Doyle of Finglas, who lost his daughter, son-in-law, and two infant granddaughters in the Parnell Street explosion, described the scene inside Dublin’s city morgue as having been like a “slaughterhouse”, with workers “putting arms and legs together to make up a body”.

At 18:00, after all of the dead and injured had been removed, Garda officers cordoned off the three bomb sites in Dublin. Fifteen minutes earlier, at 17:45, the orders were given to call out ‘national cordons’, to stop the bombers fleeing the stat] Garda officers were sent to Connolly Station, Busáras, Dublin Airport, the B&I car ferry port, and the mail boat at Dún Laoghaire.At 18:28, the Dublin-Belfast train was stopped at Dundalk and searched by a team of 18 Gardaí led by an inspector.During the evening of 17 May, Gardaí from the Ballistics, Photography, Mappings, and Fingerprints section visited the three bomb sites in Dublin and examined the debris.

127-South-Leinster-St.preview

 

Some accounts give a total of 34 or 35 dead from the four bombings: 34 by including the unborn child of victim Colette Doherty, who was nine months pregnant; and 35 by including the later still-born child of Edward and Martha O’Neill. Edward was killed outright in Parnell Street.Martha O’Neill was not caught up in the attack, although two of their children were seriously injured in the bombing; one of them, a four-year-old boy, suffered severe facial injuries. The 22-month-old daughter of Colette Doherty survived the Talbot Street blast; she was found wandering about near the bomb site, relatively unharmed.Six weeks after the bombings, the elderly mother of Thomas Campbell, who was killed in the Monaghan bombing, allegedly died of the shock she received at the death of her son.

Due to the bombings, the Irish Army withdrew its troops from UN peacekeeping missions for four year.

800px-Dublin_and_Monaghan_front

 

Advertisements

Mary Elmes-Forgotten hero

MaryElmesCorkWoman_large

Marie Elisabeth Jean Elmes (5 May 1908 – 9 March 2002)[2] was an Irish businesswoman and aid worker who is credited with saving the lives of at least 200 Jewish children during the Holocaust by hiding them in the boot of her car.In 2015, she became the first and so far the only Irish citizen honoured as Righteous Among the Nations by the State of Israel which was in recognition of her work in the Spanish Civil War and World War II.

Born in 1908 at Winthrop Street in Cork, where her parents had a pharmacy, Mary Elmes studied French and Spanish at Trinity College Dublin

ImeldaCasey_TrinityatNight

and at the London School of Economics, before going to Spain in the 1930s during the civil war there, where she worked in children’s hospitals.

During the Holocaust, she helped save the lives of Jewish children at the Rivesaltes in the Pyrénées, which became a holding centre for Jews destined for concentration camps.In January 1943, she was arrested on suspicion of helping Jews escape and spent six months in a jail near Paris.

On her release, she returned to helping Jewish people escape the Holocaust.

It would take Prof Ronald Friend almost 70 years to identify the person who saved his life. Then, one morning in January 2011, an email popped into his inbox with a name. The woman who had extricated him from a detention camp during the Second World War was called “Miss Elms”.

He would later discover that her name was, in fact, Mary Elmes. Other details would follow. She was born in Cork City in 1908 and she had helped to save hundreds of Jewish children from the Nazi gas chamber.

(A 1943 school photo of Ronald Friend (middle row, 3rd from left) who was mixed in with local children at a school in the South of France. Mary Elmes extricated Ronald and his brother from the detention camp in 1942)

RonaldFriendMixedWithLocalChildren1943_large

He and his brother, then aged 18 months and five years old respectively, were two of those children. Although Prof Friend had spent years piecing together the details of his early childhood, this final piece of the jigsaw had always eluded him.

He had the end of the story, but not the beginning.

He had known, for instance, of his family’s near-escape over the Swiss border in 1942. His father Hans and brother Mario had made it to safety over the border. They turned back, however, when they saw that police had stopped young Ronald and his mother, Eva. They would all be detained at Rivesaltes, a notorious holding camp near Perpignan in the south of France.

He had evidence, too, that he had been spirited away to a safe house in Toulouse. He even met the French priest, Fr Louis Bézard, who had hidden him and his brother in a suitcase as they passed through Toulouse train station under intense Gestapo surveillance.

On 25 September 1942, Mary Elmes wrote to say that they were  going to be liberated the next day and taken to a Quaker hostel, or “colony”, in Vernet-le-Bains, called the Hotel du Portugal.

14302-ijiawcatnx-whr

The hotel is still there.” He and his brother were finally reunited with their mother Eva in 1947 but they found out their father Hans had been deported to Majdanek camp in 1943. He perished there.

On completing her studies Mary joined the University of London Ambulance Unit in Spain to help the innocent victims of the vicious ongoing Spanish Civil War. She was posted to Almeria in southern Spain to a children’s hospital that soon came under the administration of a Quaker humanitarian organisation the Friends Service Council. Almeria was bombarded by the German Navy in support of Franco’s fascists and Mary was moved further north to Alicante. Her organisational skills were obviously already evident as in Alicante she was put in charge of the hospital.

Mary Elmes -Spain 1938-Dorothy Morris and Juan

Things were no easier in Alicante as the fighting raged on and the town sustained one of the worst aerial attacks of the war in May 1938, this time at the hands of the Italian airforce when more than 300 civilians were killed. Despite the desperate circumstances Mary was committed to her work realising that though she may be able to leave, the children she was helping had no choice but to remain. Her commitment was such that even when her father died back in Cork she refused to return home as no replacement for her could be found. It was at this time that Mary began taking children from the war-torn city up into the mountains to offer some refuge from the fighting and the daily horrors they witnessed.

The Civil War came to an end in April 1939 and a mass exodus of half a million refugees began fleeing to France in order to escape the new nationalist regime. Mary and many of her colleagues went with them making the tortuous journey across the Pyrenees mountains between Spain and France. In France they may have escaped the fighting and reprisals but conditions were terrible. The French government had set up holding camps for the new arrivals close to the coast where they were hemmed in by barbed-wire. There was little shelter, no toilet facilities and food and provisions were simply thrown over the fence.

Realising that most of the refugees would not return to Spain as they had hoped the French government finally put in place more organised camps and by the end of May conditions began to improve. Mary set to work caring for the many children who had made the journey and spent much of her time trying to provide reading materials and some kind of education for children and adults in the camps.

At the same time Hitler’s Germany was making preparations for war and in September the Second World War began when the Wehrmacht invaded Poland.

main_900

Many Germans who had fled to France from the Nazis were rounded up as illegal aliens and sent to the camps in the south and things went from bad to worse as the Nazis quickly overran France itself with thousands more heading for the camps. Mary Elmes was based at Camp de Rivesaltes near Perpignan 40km from the Spanish border. As the war progressed and more and more people were detained it would become one of the largest detention centres in France and conditions quickly deteriorated. Her main concern turned from providing books and education to simply keeping as many people alive as she could.

As an Irish citizen Mary was able to remain working at the camp when many of her British and American colleagues were forced to leave as their countries entered the war. As the war progressed the Vichy government began sending thousands of Jews to Rivesaltes to join the already overcrowded Spanish and others who were detained there.

RetrieveAsset

Its location on a barren plain near Perpignan left it open to the elements, unbearably hot in summer and freezing cold during the winter and many of those detained had only rags for clothes; malnutrition and disease became a serious problem.

It was at this time that Jewish prisoners began being sent to the Drancy camp near Paris

Drancy

and then on to Auschwitz where most of them would be murdered. Mary and her colleagues soon realised what was happening after receiving reports from elsewhere and they set about saving as many people as they could. Under the Vichy regime the government was prepared to allow children to be taken from the camp to stay in children’s ‘colonies’ elsewhere but their parents could not go with them. Mary went around the camp asking parents to let the children go in the hope of saving them from an even worse fate.

When the Nazis took full control in 1942 they also put a stop to children being removed from the camp and those who had already escaped began to be moved to safer locations high in the Pyrenees where they would not be found by the authorities. Mary also began taking children from the camp directly herself and smuggling them across the Spanish border in the boot of her car with the help of Dr Joseph Weill and Andrée Salomon two members of the Jewish Children’s Aid Society (OSE).

Mary Elmes was arrested in February 1943 and imprisoned in Toulouse and later Fresnes Prison near Paris but was released six months later. She continued her humanitarian work until the end of the war despite the huge personal risk to her own safety. It is estimated that she helped save the lives of more than 200 Jewish children during the war. When the war came to an end she married a Frenchman and settled in the south of France where she raised two children.

She wass awarded the Legion of Honour, France’s highest civil accolade for her efforts during the war but refused to accept it not wanting any attention for what she did. She often returned to Cork and Ireland to visit throughout her life and died in France in 2002 at the age of 94. On January 23rd, 2013 Yad Vashem recognized Mary Elisabeth Elmes as Righteous Among the Nations.

zzzMaryElmesAndFriedel_large

 

Irish government’s condolences to Germany after Hitler’s death

image

Ireland’s president,Douglas Hyde, during World War II offered condolences to Nazi Germany’s representative in Dublin over the death of Adolf Hitler,  declassified government records show.

It was long believed that Ireland’s prime minister(Taoiseach) at the time, Eamon de Valera, was the only government leader to convey official condolences to Eduard Hempel, director of the German diplomatic corps in Ireland.

State-within-a-state-the-Nazis-in-neutral-Ireland-5

(Dr Eduard Hempel, Dr Vogelsang and Dr Adolf Mahr at the German legation’s garden party in Dublin, 1938.)

De Valera’s gesture ,unique among leaders of neutral nations in the final weeks of World War II ,was criticized worldwide.

On May 2, 1945, just two days after Hitler and his consort Eva Braun committed suicide in their Berlin bunker, De Valera, who also served as foreign minister, and his aide, Secretary of External Affairs Joseph Walshe, visited the German Embassy in Dublin to sign a book of condolences for the departed Fuhrer.

9781856355803

They also met with the top German envoy to Ireland, Eduard Hempel. Irish envoys in other nations did likewise, including Leopold Kerney in Spain, who called on the German Embassy in Madrid to express his condolences.

Leopold-H.-Kerney162x248

Not everyone in De Valera’s government agreed with his decision to mourn Hitler. Frederick Boland, the assistant secretary of the Department of External Affairs, reportedly begged him not to go to the embassy.

image (1)

Indeed, no other Western European democracies followed De Valera’s example – he found himself in the dubious company of two European fascist dictators, Francisco Franco of Spain and António de Oliveira Salazar of Portugal, in voicing condolences over Hitler.

De Valera, who had apparently never expressed any admiration or support for Nazi Germany in the years leading up to the war, also found himself in the embarrassing and uncomfortable spot of receiving praise and gratitude from the British Union of Fascists for “honoring the memory of the greatest German in history.”

De Valera argued that to refuse condolences “would have been an act of unpardonable discourtesy to the German nation and to Dr Hempel”.

It was a pedantic and foolish diplomatic gesture, and it was not appreciated by my grandmother Christabel Bielenberg, according to Kim Bielenberg -her Grandmother was a German living in Ireland at the time,when she learned of it later on.

Many in Germany were hardly stricken with grief at the demise of Hitler in the Spring of 1945, and even if they had been sympathetic, they were so busy trying to guarantee their own survival – finding food and keeping a roof over their heads – that they had little time to mourn him.

The global media also piled on. An editorial in The New York Times said of De Valera’s visit: “Considering the character and the record of the man for whose death he was expressing grief, there is obviously something wrong with the protocol, the neutrality of Mr. de Valera.”

The New York Herald Tribune also blasted De Valera. “If this is neutrality, it is neutrality gone mad – neutrality carried into a diplomatic jungle – where good and evil alike vanish in the red-tape thickets: where conscience flounders helplessly in slogans of protocol,” the paper declared.

Some Irish-Americans also condemned de Valera.

One Angela D. Walsh of New York wrote to a local newspaper: “Have you seen the motion pictures of the victims of German concentration camps, de Valera? Have you seen the crematoriums? Have you seen the bodies of little children murdered by Nazi hands? Have you seen the living dead, de Valera? Skin stretched over bone, and too weak to walk?”

In response to vitriolic international criticism over his gesture (most notably from British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and U.S. President Harry Truman), De Valera insisted it was a question of diplomatic protocol and that failing to send his respects would amount to “an act of unpardonable discourtesy.”

President_Harry_S._Truman_and_Prime_Minister_Winston_Churchill_on_the_steps_of_the_-Little_White_House,-_the..._-_NARA_-_198764

In a letter to Robert Brennan, the Irish ambassador in Washington, De Valera wrote: “During the whole of the war, Dr. Hempel’s conduct was irreproachable. He was always friendly and invariably correct — in marked contrast with [U.S. envoy David] Gray. I certainly was not going to add to [Hempel’s] humiliation in the hour of defeat.”

De Valera also specified that his actions in no way condoned the policies of Hitler’s regime.

 

Belfast Blitz-15 April 1941

Belfast-blitz2

Although the Republic of Ireland was neutral and was left largely unscathed during the war, Northern Ireland as part of the UK was not that lucky.

Belfast being the biggest city of Northern Ireland was hit by German bombers 4 times, between the 7th of April and 6th of May 1941.

belfast-blitz

Northern Ireland was ill prepared for the Luftwaffe’s arrival. Ministers felt it unlikely that the bombers could reach Belfast.

There were only four public air raid shelters in Belfast, and most of the city’s searchlights had been sent back to England. There were plans to evacuate 70,000 children from Belfast, but little over 10% of that number actually left. When an unobserved German plane flew over Belfast to identify targets in November 1940, it saw a city defended by only seven anti-aircraft batteries. By March 1941, Northern Ireland’s minister of public security was close to panic – with some justification.

p03q0vx2

Around midnight on Monday 7 April 1941, seven German planes began bombing Belfast targets that had been identified the previous year.

The moon, half-full, enabled the Germans to attack by sight as they flew low, just above the barrage balloons. In half-hour intervals, the Luftwaffe bombed the docks and shipyards with alarming accuracy. The fuselage factory at Harland and Wolff was hit by a parachute mine, destroying 50 Sterling bombers. Incendiary bombs and high explosives also destroyed houses in north and east Belfast. By the time the raid ended at around 3.30am, 13 people had been killed.

William Joyce (known as “Lord Haw-Haw”) announced in radio broadcasts from Hamburg that there will be “Easter eggs for Belfast”.

haw-haw

On Easter Tuesday, 15 April 1941, spectators watching a football match at Windsor Park noticed a lone Luftwaffe Junkers Ju-88 aircraft circling overhead.

Junkers_Ju88

That evening up to 200 bombers left their bases in northern France and the Netherlands and headed for Belfast. There were Heinkel He 111s, Junkers Ju 88s and Dorniers. At 10:40 pm the air raid sirens sounded.

Accounts differ as to when flares were dropped to light up the city. The first attack was against the city’s waterworks, which had been attacked in the previous raid. High explosives were dropped. Initially it was thought that the Germans had mistaken this reservoir for the harbour and shipyards, where many ships, including HMS Ark Royal were being repaired.

HMS_Ark_Royal_h85716

However that attack was not an error. Three vessels nearing completion at Harland and Wolff’s were hit as was its power station. Wave after wave of bombers dropped their incendiaries, high explosives and land-mines. When incendiaries were dropped, the city burned as water pressure was too low for effective firefighting.

61a2b82e5229dc0033b3b6b757

Public buildings destroyed or badly damaged included Belfast City Hall’s Banqueting Hall, the Ulster Hospital for Women and Children and Ballymacarrett library, (the last two being located on Templemore Avenue). Strand Public Elementary school, the LMS railway station, the adjacent Midland Hotel on York Road, and Salisbury Avenue tram depot were all hit. Churches destroyed or wrecked included Macrory Memorial Presbyterian in Duncairn Gardens; Duncairn Methodist, Castleton Presbyterian on York Road; St Silas’s on the Oldpark Road; St James’s on the Antrim Road; Newington Presbyterian on Limestone Road; Crumlin Road Presbyterian; Holy Trinity on Clifton Street and Clifton Street Presbyterian; York Street Presbyterian and York Street Non-Subscribing Presbyterian; Newtownards Road Methodist and Rosemary Street Presbyterian (the last of which was not rebuilt).

Newtownards-Rd-Methodist-Church-Belfast-620x330

Streets heavily bombed in the city centre included High Street, Ann Street, Callender Street, Chichester Street, Castle Street, Tomb Street, Bridge Street (effectively obliterated), Rosemary Street, Waring Street, North Street, Victoria Street, Donegall Street, York Street, Gloucester Street, and East Bridge Street. In the east of the city, Westbourne and Newcastle Streets on the Newtownards Road, Thorndyke Street off the Albertbridge Road and Ravenscroft Avenue were destroyed or damaged. In the west and north of the city, streets heavily bombed included Percy Street, York Park, York Crescent, Eglinton Street, Carlisle Street, Ballyclare, Ballycastle and Ballynure Streets off the Oldpark Road; Southport Street, Walton Street, Antrim Road, Annadale Street, Cliftonville Road, Hillman Street, Atlantic Avenue, Hallidays Road, Hughenden Avenue, Sunningdale Park, Shandarragh Park, and Whitewell Road. Burke Street which ran between Annadale and Dawson streets in the New Lodge area, was completely wiped off the map with all its 20 houses flattened and all of the occupants killed.

 

There was no opposition. In the mistaken belief that they might damage RAF fighters, the seven anti-aircraft batteries ceased firing. But the RAF had not responded. The bombs continued to fall until 5am.

Fifty-five thousand houses were damaged leaving 100,000 temporarily homeless. Outside of London, with some 900 dead, this was the greatest loss of life in a night raid during the Blitz.A stray bomber attacked Derry, killing 15. Another attacked Bangor, killing five. By 4 am the entire city seemed to be in flames. At 4.15am John MacDermott, the Minister of Public Security, managed to contact Basil Brooke (then Agriculture Minister), seeking permission to seek help from the Irish government. Brooke noted in his diary “I gave him authority as it is obviously a question of expediency”. Since 1.45am all telephones had been cut. Fortunately, the railway telegraphy link between Belfast and Dublin was still operational. The telegram was sent at 4.35am, asking the Irish Taoiseach, Éamon de Valera for assistance.

Eamon-de-Valera

For decades now it has been part of unionist and loyalist lore that the then Fianna Fáil government was partly to blame for the Belfast Blitz due to a decision not to black out neutral Irish towns and cities at night.

Over 900 lives were lost, 1,500 people were injured, 400 of them seriously. Fifty-thousand houses, more than half the houses in the city, were damaged. Eleven churches, two hospitals and two schools were destroyed.

From conflict to peace-The life of Martin McGuinness.

000dc981-800 (1)

This is an A-political blog just highlighting the many facets of Martin McGuinness, a man who has made an impact on Ireland.I believe that ultimately history will portray him as a peacemaker.

Martin McGuinness, pictured circa 1972, holding a Luger pistol

mcguiness

Martin McGuinness with masked IRA men at the funeral of Brendan Burns in 1988

image

Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness

_77807524_mcguinness1987

Martin McGuinness was second-in-command of the IRA in Derry.

1972__martin-mcgui_2260242k

The sinn Fein delegation led by Mr Martin McGuinness arriving for the opening of talks with a British Government delegation at Parliament Buildings, Stormont in 1994.

image (2)

Regardless what you think of either of these men, but if they can work together and have a laugh together anyone can.

ft5s-Ian-Paisley-Martin-McGuinness-Laughing

MI Rev Ian Paisley DUP Martin McGuinness Sinn Fein Stormount Photocall

Peter Robinson caught on camera in late 1984 during a visit to the Israel-Lebanon border with an automatic assault rifle.

peter-robinson-caught-on-camera-in-late-1984-during-a-visit-to-the-israel-lebanon-border-with-an-automatic-assault-rifle

Leaving bygones be bygones ,former First Minister Peter Robinson and former deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness wave to the visitors.

mcGuinness-robinson

Shaking hands with the Queen.

image (1)

Arlene Foster and Martin McGuinness.

Arlene_Foster_and_Martin_McGuinness

Martin McGuinness about Rev. Ian Paisley ”

“Over a number of decades we were political opponents and held very different views on many, many issues but the one thing we were absolutely united on was the principle that our people were better able to govern themselves than any British government.

“I want to pay tribute to and comment on the work he did in the latter days of his political life in building agreement and leading unionism into a new accommodation with republicans and nationalists.

“In the brief period that we worked together in the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister I developed a close working relationship with him which developed into a friendship, which despite our many differences lasted beyond his term in office”

00097b6d-614

A shadow of the man he used to be.

nintchdbpict000307209026

St Patrick’s day in WWII

2017-03-17

Saint Patrick’s Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig, “the Day of the Festival of Patrick”), is a cultural and religious celebration held on 17 March, the traditional death date of Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461), the foremost patron saint of Ireland.

360px-Kilbennan_St._Benin's_Church_Window_St._Patrick_Detail_2010_09_16

While the Republic of Ireland was neutral during WWII, Northern Ireland became an important Allied sea and airbase.And besides that there were a great number of allied soldiers who identified themselves as being Irish through their Irish ancestry. Also there were many Irish who fought during the war, the Irish guards for example were pivotal to many WWII operations.

Below are some pictures of St Patrick’s day celebrations during WWII

While a piper plays, a special rum ration is issued to men of the 2nd Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers to mark St Patrick’s Day in the Anzio bridgehead, Italy, 17 March 1944.

303e441c0b72dd83a7d5da163126213f

American soldiers and Irish girls have a friendly chat during a St. Patricks Day Dance and Celebration, March 17, 1942girls

St Patrick’s Day 1944 – General Bernard presenting the shamrock to Major de Longueuil (later awarded the MC). On the Major’s right is Lieutenant Campbell.Lieut General Sir D J Bernard presenting shamrock to 2 RUR St Patricks Day 1944

Happy St Patrick’s day wishes for the troops from Maureen O’Hara.2017-03-17 (2)

Major Basil Donlea MC and Montgomery – Hawick – St Patrick’s Day 17 March 1944Basil Donlea

Jess Barker, Genny Simms, Red Skelton, Edna Skelton, And Buster Keaton During The Cake Cutting Ceremony On St. Patrick ‘s Day At The Hollywood Canteenf76689fe2318c20ad2d036f57f6cdafa

Fifth Avenue was jammed with marchers out in force for the parade on March 17, 1943.This photo shows 49th Street just before passing the reviewing stand at St Patrick’s Cathedral.download

St. Patrick’s Day Parade Cleveland 1940st-patricks-day-parade-cleveland-1940jpg-98a940b5cf5eb95a_large

Nelson’s Pillar, O’Connell Street. Crowds watching St. Patrick’s Day Parade 19404fa2106ca4661156977c8030274b6aa3

 

Cavan Orphanage fire

mi-cavan_orphanage_grave

In the early hours of 24 February  in 1943 fire broke out in the basement laundry of St. Joseph’s Orphanage & Industrial School run by the enclosed order of Poor Clare nuns in Main St., Cavan town. The fire very quickly turned into an inferno. The alarm was raised by horrified townspeople who tried to help. At first they could not gain access to the convent and when they were admitted it was almost too late too reach the terrified, screaming children, trapped in the top floor dormitories. A hugely inadequate fire service meant that within forty minutes the flames had taken hold, the roof had caved in and the building was left just a shell. Thirty five children and an elderly lay woman burned to death. The following day the remains of the thirty six bodies were recovered from the smoldering ruin. They were put in just eight coffins and buried subsequently in a mass grave.

ft5s-st-josephs-orphanage-and-industrial-school

The subsequent investigation attributed it to a faulty flue. The sight of smoke coming out of the building alerted people on Main Street. They went to the front entrance and tried to gain entry. Eventually they were let in by one of the girls but not knowing the layout of the convent, they were unable to find the girls.

By this time all of the girls had been moved into one Dormitory. At this stage it would have been possible to evacuate all of the children but instead the nuns persuaded the local people to attempt to put out the fire. Two men (John Kennedy and John McNally) went down to the laundry to try to put the fire out. The flames were now too intense for this to be possible and McNally only survived by being carried out by Kennedy.

By this point it was no longer possible for the girls to get out through the main entrance or the fire escape. The local fire brigade had then arrived but their equipment was not sufficient for this fire. Wooden ladders were not long enough to reach the dormitory windows. In the absence of any other solution girls were encouraged to jump. Three did so, though with injuries, however most were too frightened to attempt it. By the time a local electricity worker, Mattie Hand, arrived with a long ladder, and a local man, Louis Blessing, brought five girls down. One child left by way of the interior staircase while it was still accessible. One child made it down the exterior fire escape. One child escaped by way of a small ladder held on the roof of the shed. the fire completely engulfed the dormitory and the remaining girls died.

0000a5a3-250

Incredibly, when alerted to the gathering smoke by a orphan girl, a senior nun made the decision not to evacuate the children, instead she directed them to the top floor dormitory and closed the doors.

Being an enclosed order, the nuns were reportedly reluctant to leave the building themselves, which they considered would be a violation of their vows.

Over concerns about the causes of the fire and the standard of care, a Public Inquiry was set up. The report’s findings stated that the loss of life occurred due to faulty directions being given, lack of fire-fighting training, and an inadequate rescue and fire-fighting service. It also noted inadequate training of staff in fire safety and evacuation, both at the orphanage and local fire service.

This finding has been disputed by many, including in a piece of verse (to be precise, a Limerick) written by the secretary to the Inquiry Brian O’Nolan, better known as the author Flann O’Brien, and one of the counsel representing the Electricity Supply Board, Tom O’Higgins, later Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and presidential candidate.

“In Cavan there was a great fire,Judge McCarthy was sent to inquire,
It would be a shame, if the nuns were to blame,
So it had to be caused by a wire.”

It was alleged that the nuns prevented firefighters entering the building in case they saw the girls inside in a state of undress.

Due to the nature of the fire, the remains of the dead girls were placed in 8 coffins and buried in Cullies cemetery in Cavan. A new memorial plaque was erected in 2010 just inside the convent gates at Main Street, Cavan. The plaque was anonymously donated to the Friends of the Cavan Orphanage Victims group.

The WWII Bombings of Ireland-Why Ireland should not have stayed neutral.

irish_press

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.

https://dirkdeklein.net/2016/05/10/forgotten-history-irish-wwii-losses/

375px-heinkel_he_111

 

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.

2992-1

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.

screen-shot-2013-01-29-at-14-42-52

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).

144596_146_news_hub_132629_677x251

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.

northstrand002

download

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.

https://dirkdeklein.net/2016/05/28/william-joyce-aka-lord-haw-haw/

 

Bloody Sunday-1972

page13_bloodysunday

Today marks the 45th anniversary of Bloody Sunday sometimes also referred to as the Bogside Massacre.

Sunday January 30th 1972 started as any other Sunday in Derry but would end with tragedy and a population thrown into a dark backlash of opinion towards the British.

feature-bloodysunday

British soldiers shot 26 unarmed civilians during a peaceful protest march against internment. Fourteen people died: thirteen were killed outright, while the death of another man four months later was attributed to his injuries. Many of the victims were shot while fleeing from the soldiers and some were shot while trying to help the wounded. Other protesters were injured by rubber bullets or batons, and two were run down by army vehicles.The march had been organised by the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA). The soldiers involved were members of the 1st Battalion, Parachute Regiment, also known as “1 Para”.

The Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA) organised a march to start at 3PM from the Bishops Field area of the Creggan. The march had already been deemed illegal by the British and from previous march’s the police force and the British proved too ruthless against peaceful demonstrators such as the attack on a civil rights march at Burntollet bridge.

bloody_sunday

The plan for the march was to walk down Creggan Hill, into William Street and onto the Guildhall Square, in the City Centre area. Over 15,000 people attended the march which proceeded from Creggan. The marchers were singing songs with some describing it as a carnival like event. As they reached the William Street area the British Army had set-up barricades so the march was diverted into the Bogside and towards Free Derry Corner, a small area that  isolated itself from the Northern Ireland state known as as no-go area for the British forces.Despite this, a number of people continued on towards an army barricade where local youths threw stones at soldiers, who responded with a water cannon, CS gas and rubber bullets.

untitled

As the riot began to disperse, soldiers of the 1st Parachute Regiment were ordered to move in and arrest as many of the rioters as possible. In the minutes that followed, some of these paratroopers opened fire on the crowd, killing thirteen men and injuring 13 others, one of whom died some months later.

bloody-sunday-victims

A large group of people fled or were chased into the car park of Rossville Flats. This area was like a courtyard, surrounded on three sides by high-rise flats. The soldiers opened fire, killing one civilian and wounding six others.This fatality, Jackie Duddy, was running alongside a priest, Father Edward Daly, when he was shot in the back.

While the British Army maintained that its troops had responded after coming under fire, the people of the Bogside saw it as murder. The British government was sufficiently concerned for the Home Secretary to announce the following day an official inquiry into the circumstances of the shootings.

Opinion was further polarised by the findings of this tribunal, led by the British Lord Chief Justice, Lord Widgery. His report exonerated the army and cast suspicion on many of the victims, suggesting they had been handling bombs and guns. Relatives of the dead and the wider nationalist community campaigned for a fresh public inquiry, which was finally granted by then Prime Minister Tony Blair in 1998.

Headed by Lord Saville, the Bloody Sunday Inquiry took 12 years and finally reported in 2010. It established the innocence of the victims and laid responsibility for what happened on the army.

Prime Minister David Cameron called the killings “unjustified and unjustifiable”. The families of the victims of Bloody Sunday felt that the inquiry’s findings vindicated those who were killed, raising the question of prosecutions and compensation.

 

How Neutral was Ireland during WWII-Ireland and the Third Reich.

feature-world-war-2

The Republic of Ireland was and still is a neutral country but during WWII there were many Irish volunteers who fought with the allies against the Axis power.Like The first RAF bomber pilot to be shot down and killed in 1939 was Willie Murphy from Cork. His navigator, Larry Slattery, from Thurles, became the longest-serving ‘British’ POW of the war.(pictured below in a Berlin POW hospital bed)

download

On the other hand there were a great number of Irish who were sympathetic to Hitler and the Nazi regime.One of the most famous ones was the Irish playwright, critic and polemicist George Bernard Shaw.

bernard-shaw-iln-1911-original

He despised democracy, supported Lenin, Stalin and the Soviet purges, and denied the Ukrainian Famine happened. He also supported Hitler, and denied the Holocaust happened.After Hitler’s suicide in May 1945, Shaw approved of the formal condolences offered by the Irish Taoiseach, Éamon de Valera, at the German embassy in Dublin.

000aff02-1500

Shaw disapproved of the postwar trials of the defeated German leaders, as an act of self-righteousness: “We are all potential criminals”.

Charles Henry Bewley was raised in a famous Dublin Quaker business family (Bewleys Coffee and Cafes)and embraced Irish Republicanism and Roman Catholicism. He was the Irish envoy to Berlin who reportedly thwarted efforts to obtain visas for Jews wanting to leave Nazi Germany in the 1930s and to move to the safety of the Irish Free State.

78311642_131851949458

Inhis reports to Dublin during the 1930s he gave the impression that German Jews were not threatened; that they were involved in pornography, abortion and “the international white slave traffic”. He explained the Nuremberg Laws “As the Chancellor pointed out, it amounts to the making of the Jews into a national minority; and as they themselves claim to be a separate race, they should have nothing to complain of.” He reports that he had no knowledge of any “deliberate cruelty on the part of the [German] Government … towards the Jews”. He criticised Irish refugee policy as “inordinately liberal, and facilitating the entry of the wrong class of people” (meaning Jews). Bewley was dismissed just as World War II was breaking out, and never received a pension. However, Joseph Goebbels gave him a job writing propaganda. For a time he worked for a Swedish news agency, which was part of Goebbels’ propaganda machine.

bundesarchiv_bild_183-1989-0821-502_joseph_goebbels

Dr. Adolf Mahr was an Austrian archaeologist who was Gruppenleiter (group leader) of the Dublin branch of the Nazi Party Auslandsorganisation (NSDP-AO).He arrived in Ireland in 1927 to work as keeper of antiquities in the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin.

state-within-a-state-the-nazis-in-neutral-ireland-2

In 1934 Éamon de Valera appointed Mahr Director of the Museum.As the Nazi Party rose to power in Germany in the 1930s, Mahr joined in 1933 and became the Local Group Leader (Ortsgruppenleiter) in Ireland. During his spell as Nazi leader he recruited roughly 23 Germans. Mahr’s children were raised in Dublin in the 1930s but ended up in post-war Germany.

The IRA supported the Nazis in WW2 (the real ones, not just rhetorical ones). They ran safe houses for Nazi spies, aided Nazi intelligence, and even helped Nazi bombers. They planned to bring about a Nazi German invasion of Ireland, and would no doubt have been installed as a quisling government had Germany occupied Ireland.Chief-of-Staff of the IRA at this time was Seán McCool.

Hitler would of course have done to Ireland what he did to every other country. In the Wannsee Conference notes of Jan 1942, Ireland’s 4,000 Jews were listed for extermination. No doubt Irish quislings would have helped in this, as quislings helped in every other country.

sfira-5

Luckily, the IRA failed in their plans, and the Jews of Ireland were not exterminated.

Andrija Artuković (19 November 1899 – 16 January 1988) was a Croatian lawyer, politician and senior member of the Croatian nationalist and fascist Ustaše organisation, who held the Interior and Justice portfolios in the Government of the Independent State of Croatia during World War II.

andrijaartukovicmz8

He signed into law a number of racial laws against Serbs, Jews and Romani people, and was responsible for a string of concentration camps in which tens of thousands of civilians were murdered and mistreated. On 18 May 1945, British extradited some Croatian ministers and Prime Minister Nikola Mandić to the Yugoslav authorities. Artuković was not extradited, but he was released soon with remaining ministers. He left the British occupational zone, then went via the American to the French occupational zone, where his family was. With a Swiss passport under the pseudonym of Alois Anich, he traveled to Ireland. In 1948, he left Ireland with his wife and children, and entered the United States on a tourist visa and settled in Seal Beach, California.

Helmut Clissman was a German spy, active in Ireland during World War II.When war broke out in 1939, Mr Clissmann was ordered, along with other Germans living in Ireland, to return to Germany. This was later seen by the German intelligence services as a bad mistake, but they tried to use his expert knowledge to find out the strength of the IRA and whether Germany could use it to launch guerrilla attacks and sabotage in Northern Ireland.

Mr Clissmann also played a role in the release of Frank Ryan from a Spanish jail where he was under sentence of death for fighting on the republican side in the Civil War. Mr Clissmann knew Ryan as an IRA activist when in Ireland.

84_small_1299516471-1

He died on the 6th of November 1997 in Dublin.

Hermann Görtz (15 November 1890 – 23 May 1947) was a German spy in Britain and Ireland before and during World War II.

herman-goertz-big

In the summer of 1940, Görtz parachuted into Ballivor, County Meath, Ireland (Operation Mainau) in an effort to gather information. He moved in with former IRA leader Jim O’Donovan.

james_odonovan

His mission was to act as a liaison officer with the IRA and enlist their assistance during a potential German occupation of Britain. However, he soon decided that the IRA was too unreliable. On landing, he lost the ‘Ufa’ transmitter he had parachuted with. Goertz, attired in a Luftwaffe uniform, then walked to Dublin. He was not apprehended despite calling into a Garda barracks in Co Wicklow, asking for directions to Dublin. Goertz made it to Dublin and a “safe-house” at 245 Templeogue Road, Templeogue. 

In May 1940, the Irish police raided the home of an IRA member of German descent, Stephen Carroll Held, who had been working with Görtz, at his house at Blackheath Park, Clontarf. They confiscated a parachute, papers, Görtz’s World War I medals, and a number of documents about the defence infrastructure of Ireland. The papers they took included files on possible military targets in Ireland, such as airfields and harbours, as well as detailed plans of the so-called “Plan Kathleen”. This was an IRA plan for the invasion of Northern Ireland with the support of the Nazi military. Held had brought this plan to Germany prior to Görtz’s departure but his superiors had dismissed it as unfeasible.

Görtz went into hiding, staying with sympathizers in the Wicklow area and purposefully avoided contact with IRA safehouses. He remained at large for a total of eighteen months. When another IRA member, Pearse Paul Kelly, visited Goertz’s hiding place in Dublin in November 1941, police arrested them both.

Görtz was interned until the end of the war. He was first detained in Mountjoy Prison but later moved to Custume Barracks, Athlone with nine others.

 

Hermann Goertz was released from jail in Athlone in August 1946. He went to live in Glenageary and became secretary of a charity called Save The German Children Fund. He was rearrested the following year and served with a deportation order by the Minister for Justice. He claimed to have been in the SS rather than a lieutenant in the Luftwaffe in an attempt to prevent his deportation but this claim was disproved by Irish Military Intelligence (G2) which also “promoted” him to Major when sending him messages allegedly from Germany. On Friday May 23, 1947 he arrived at the Aliens’ Office in Dublin Castle at 9.50am and was told he was being deported to Germany the next day. Although it had been stated to him that the Irish government had specifically requested that he not be handed over to the Soviets, he committed suicide.

The Irish Times reported that he: “Stared disbelievingly at the detective officers. Then suddenly, he took his hand from his trouser pocket, swiftly removed his pipe from between his lips, and slipped a small glass phial into his mouth. One of the police officers sprang at Goertz as he crunched the glass with his teeth. The officer got his hands around Goertz’s neck but failed to prevent most of the poison – believed to be prussic acid – from passing down his throat. Within a few seconds, Goertz collapsed.”He was driven to Mercer’s Hospital and died there shortly after arrival.

Görtz was buried three days later in a Dublin cemetery.

thedevilsdeal_119832k

In 1974 his remains were transferred to the German Military Cemetery at Glencree, Co. Wicklow.

Other notable Nazi’s who sought and found refuge in Ireland were Otto Skorzeny and Dutch War Criminal Pieter Menten.

https://dirkdeklein.net/2016/10/17/otto-skorzenyhitlers-scarfaced-henchman-irish-farmer-and-mossad-hitman/

https://dirkdeklein.net/2016/02/18/forgotten-history-war-criminal-pieter-menten/

Controversially,de Valera formally offered his condolences to the German Minister in Dublin on the death of Adolf Hitler in 1945, in accordance with diplomatic protocol.This did some damage to Ireland, particularly in the United States – and soon afterwards de Valera had a bitter exchange of words with Winston Churchill in two famous radio addresses after the end of the war in Europe.