Northern Ireland

Blood On The Streets – On This Day in 1974

Words fail as Ireland comes to terms with the horror of the Dublin and Monaghan bombs

The aftermath of the Talbot Street bomb, showing where a car bomb was placed at the front of Guiney's stores
Three bombs exploded in Dublin city centre
May 20 1974

There is no inexhaustible source from which to draw words of abhorrence at the horrifying litany of deaths in Dublin and Monaghan caused by car bombs.

The death toll has left the whole island numbed and bereft, not only of suitable words of condemnation, but also of any measure of meaningful expressions of sympathy for the bereaved families and for those who suffered terrible physical injuries.

Those responsible for those foul deeds have forfeited the right to be called human beings.

The thinking behind such insensate acts is beyond definition. It could be ascribed to hatred of government and people across the border; but can hatred of other human beings, of their religious or political beliefs, possibly explain the thinking that devised this appalling visitation of death on the streets of Dublin and Monaghan?

The dead were all ordinary, decent people hurrying home from work or shopping. They had nothing to do with Sunningdale and even less with the north.

No cause is advanced, no expression of view is underlined by the deaths of men, women and babies by such a foul and bloody means.

Taut nerves in the south must somehow be calmed. The disastrous consequences which can flow from such carnage need no elaboration. But uppermost must be the heartfelt grief now felt for those who died so obscenely.

Let the people of Dublin and Monaghan be sure that that grief extends right across the country and has been deeply registered in the north which has had its own share of such tragedy involving innocent people.

A strongly-worded Irish News editorial condemning the abhorrent atrocity committed the previous Friday when 34 people lost their lives by car bombs planted in Dublin city centre and Monaghan town.
Pope Condemns ‘Week of Blood’

The Pope [Paul VI] yesterday condemned last week’s violent incidents in Israel and Ireland, declaring “delinquency has become a monstrous and collective art”.

Last week has been described as a ‘week of blood’ and it is also true, the Pope said during his traditional Sunday blessing in St Peter’s Square, Vatican City.

“The times are for violence, for vendetta and for terrorism. The world scene is troubled by demoralising incidents.”

Pope Paul VI joins in the chorus of condemnations of the perpetrators of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings.