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Friday 20 April 2018

Wartime air raid victims remembered

Survivors of a Second World War bombing - and some of their rescuers - have marked the 70th anniversary of the blasts at a poignant ceremony.

Some 28 people were killed and 90 left injured when four bombs were dropped by a German warplane on the North Strand area of Dublin.

Over three hundred houses were also damaged or destroyed.

Noel Brady was just 21 when, as a member of St John Ambulance Brigade, he risked his own life to save others.

Proudly wearing his Air Raid Protection (ARP) medal, the 91-year-old recalled how he ran to the scene after hearing the blasts from his home in Drumcondra.

"It was terrible scenes with people crying and broken bones," he said.

"Anybody who we were able to help we brought to our first aid post."

Hundreds attended a moving ceremony in a memorial garden in the grounds of Marino College, which has been restored by to give the local community a calm and restful space.

German Ambassador Busso Von Alvensleben, who unveiled a plaque to remember those killed on May 30-31 1941, said the North Strand bombing by a German aircraft brought death and suffering into the city and its inhabitants.

"My deep sympathy and respect are with the survivors and families and friends of the victims," he said.

"Their ordeal is a lasting reminder of how immensely precious peace is."

May Brennan Dunne revealed she was seven when she woke in the middle of the night to a loud noise and screaming.

"The place was in flames," she said.

"It was chaotic. You could see people bleeding."

Mrs Dunne revealed everyone in the are knew the victims, which included six members of the Browne family.

"There was a grandmother, a father, a mother and three children," she added.

"We were all devastated. It's something you will never forget.

"It's still very emotional."

Elsewhere Richard Fitzpatrick felt the ceremony gave him a link with his past.

He revealed his father, also called Richard, rarely spoke about the bomb which killed his parents Richard and Ellen and siblings Madge and Noel.

"We used to drive past here and my father would point and he would say 'say a prayer for them', but he didn't talk about it to a great extent," said Mr Fitzpatrick.

"I read in a book that my father identified their bodies in a morgue, and he never mentioned it.

"I feel like I'm paying my respects to his family by being here. It's a link with the past."

© Press Association

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