DUBLIN’S LORD MAYOR Hazel Chu and the German Ambassador to Ireland Deike Potzel led a wreath-laying ceremony today to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the bombing of North Strand, in which 28 people died.
The ceremony paid tribute to the victims and commemorated the significance of the tragic event in 1941 to Dublin city’s history.
Ireland was bombed several times during World War II, but the explosion in North Strand resulted in more deaths than any other. In the early hours of May 31st, German planes dropped four bombs on the north Dublin area – the first three caused no deaths, but the fourth and final one killed 28 people and left about 400 more homeless.
Chu said: “The North Strand Bombing is an iconic event in the history of our city, one which left an imprint on families and individuals for generations. It is an honour to be here today to commemorate the bombing and pay our respects to the 28 Dubliners who sadly lost their lives on the night of May 31st, 1941.
“We also remember those who were injured or lost their homes on that fateful night, and pay tribute to all involved in the search-and-rescue efforts and clean-up operation after the bombing.”
Also in attendance were two witnesses of the event, Gladys Langan and May Dunne.
After the ceremony, 28 miniature sailboats were launched onto the canal by Charleville Mall in memory of the victims. The boats were made by the East Wall Skiff Rowers with the East Wall Men’s Sheds, and each boat bore the name of one of the victims.
Two exhibitions dedicated to the bombings were also unveiled on Charleville Mall. They include images, text and short videos compiled by the North Strand Bombing Commemoration Committee and Dublin City Council Library Service, and will be available to view this week in the library and local shops.
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At the ceremony, the German Ambassador said: “The North Strand bombing brought death and suffering to the inhabitants of the North East Inner City eighty years ago. I wish to extend my deepest sympathies and respect to the survivors and families and friends of the victims.
“80 years on, we are gathered here today united in the firm believe that it is important to remember – in order to build and preserve a shared future in peace. And to jointly continue to say: No more war! To keep saying: Never again!”
Dublin City Libraries has also launched a new website which features a film commissioned to tell the story of the event, as well as photos of the aftermath of the bombing and stories of people who were there at the time.
A number of other activities organised by the North Strand Bombing Commemoration Committee took place across the city today to mark the anniversary, including video presentations, a searchlight display and a livestream performance by The Dublin Concert Band.