PHOTOGRAPHED NOVEMBER 2016 PUBLISHED 21 OCTOBER 2022
31 May 2011: A memorial garden dedicated to those who lost their lives in bombing of Dublin’s North Strand was re-opened to mark the 70th anniversary of the incident.
When I first photographed this memorial park it appeared to have been badly neglected since its re-opening in 2011 [what was the point of the re-opening?]. Since then it improved in stages and then in late 2014 or early 2015 a random sculpture, left over form a “Sculpture In Context” exhibition in the Botanic Gardens, was added. Since the addition of the metal sculpture things have gone downhill [not that the sculpture is to blame]. In case you are interested the sculpture is by Steve Doody and is named ” Hexagon – Could It Be Steel”.
At approximately 2 am on 31 May 1941, four German bombs dropped on north Dublin. One bomb fell in the Ballybough area, demolishing the two houses at 43 and 44 Summerhill Park, injuring many but with no loss of life. A second fell at the Dog Pond pumping works near the Zoo in Phoenix Park, with no casualties but damaging Áras an Uachtaráin, the official residence of the Irish President (Douglas Hyde at the time). A third made a large crater in the North Circular Road near Summerhill, again causing no injuries. A fourth fell in North Strand destroying 17 houses and severely damaging about 50 others, the worst damage occurring in the area between Seville Place and Newcomen Bridge. The raid claimed the lives of 28 people,[ injured 90, destroyed or damaged approximately 300 houses, and left 400 people homeless.
It has never been established why Hitler’s forces dropped bombs; if it was an attempt to force Ireland into war, or a reprisal for the assistance given by Dublin Fire Brigade during the Belfast Blitz.