THE CURRAGH BOMBINGS, 2ND JANUARY 1941

by ehistoryadmin on October 11, 2017

The Curragh bombings, 2nd January 1941
By Oliver McCrossan
Following the death of my father in October 1940, our family came to live in the Stand House, near the Curragh Race Course, in December. I was under five years of age at the time, but I have a clear recollection of the excitement of exploring my new surroundings.
World War 2 had started just fifteen months previously, so military activity in the Curragh area was ongoing and added much to the excitement of growing up there. It was not unusual on looking out from my window any morning , to see military vehicles such as armoured cars and trucks driving past, and the nearby railway siding, normally used for the convenience of racegoers was utilised to transport ammunition and fuel for Curragh Military Camp. The sky at night was often illuminated with searchlight beams as the odd German plane strayed into the area and during the day it was exciting to watch the frequent parachute exercises taking place.
One morning in 1941, January 2nd to be precise, there was great excitement in the neighbourhood as we were told that three bombs had been dropped nearby during the night. The nearest two were dropped just a few hundred yards away from the Stand House on the grassy plain near Bob Griffin’s home, each of these made huge craters in the ground. Had these bombs fallen just a few hundred yards away, they would have landed on nearby dwelling houses with inevitable fatal consequences. Another bomb landed in the Aga Khan’s stud farm nearby, which failed to explode. Amazingly no one in our house heard the explosions! This could possibly be explained by the fact that our windows had heavy curtains, and were also fitted with folding wooden shutters inside. An incendiary bomb was dropped on the same night at Walshestown, near Newbridge, which destroyed a barn and a huge stock of hay owned by Jim Cox. I remember being brought along to see the bomb craters near Griffin’s house that morning. The immediate area was surrounded by soldiers.
Looking back on that eventful night, one has to wonder how devastating an effect that incident could have had on our family and on our neighbours, but thankfully we were blessed on that occasion, and I still have those exciting memories!

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