Today, the 17th of May 2016, marks the 42nd anniversary of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings in 1974.
Four devices exploded in both counties, taking the lives of 33 civilians and a full-term unborn child, while injuring almost 300 other innocent civilians; whose only crime was being in the vicinity.
In Dublin city three car bombs were detonated without warning, during rush hour on the 17th of May 1974, and shortly afterwards another bomb was exploded in Monaghan, some ninety minutes later.
Here in Co. Tipperary, today in particular, we remember two victims of this outrage; namely M/s Breda Turner and Maureen Shields.
Miss Breda Turner aged just 21 was working in the Office of the Revenue Commissioners, the primary State Body responsible for the assessment and collection of Taxes and other Duties here in the Republic of Ireland. Originally from Thurles, in Co. Tipperary, she had moved to Dublin and was engaged to be married on the following Easter.
Murdered in the Parnell Street explosion; M/s Turner was then survived by her parents, Bridget (Biddy) and Jimmy, together with other siblings.
Mrs Maureen Shields aged 46 was originally from the village of Hollyford, Co. Tipperary. Maureen had moved to Dublin, where she also worked in the Civil Service until her marriage to Leo in 1953. The couple had one son and two daughters.
Maureen was murdered in the Talbot Street explosion.
At this time of remembrance, let us not forget the Tipperary victim of the Dublin bombing of the 1st of December 1972.
Mr George Bradshaw, aged just 30, was a bus conductor from Fethard, in Co. Tipperary, one of two male victims who died when a car bomb exploded at Sackville Place at approximately 8.15pm on that fateful day. Both victims were bus drivers with CIE and brutally murdered, having just left the nearby CIÉ Workers’ Club.
Mr Bradshaw had only moved to Dublin less than two years previously. Married to wife Kathleen, a nurse from Belfast; both were parents to two young children, Lynn and Rory.
While these Dublin and Monaghan crimes in 1974 were the biggest mass murder in the history of the Irish state, no one person has ever been charged with these bombings. The Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), a loyalist paramilitary group from Northern Ireland, claimed responsibility for the bombings in 1993.
Former Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman, Baroness Nuala O’Loan, found that Special Branch officers gave the killers immunity and officers ensured that the murderers were never caught.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.