#Frankenstorm #Sandy

#Frankenstorm #Sandy: We are working with all of our public and private partners to ensure we can respond to any situations. If it’s safe, consider removing light debris (like branches/leaves) from storm drains to help assist your areas in drainage. Avoid any unnecessary travel. Do not drive through water. A car can stop functioning in only 6 inches of water. Charge computers/phones while you have power. Some outages have been reported and some have lost and regained power already.

We have been in contact w/ every city within County. Public Works will be there to assist all safety forces. For updates, @EdFitzGeraldCE @CuyahogaCounty @CLEsafety @CLEPolice on twitter, or facebook or their websites, which will be updated as often as possible. We are also working with local media to broadcast safety updates.

Glass Stained Windows

Glass Stained Windows
by John O’Brien, Jr.

Flowers are romance,
like diamonds in the rough
earth that they grow in
reds, blues, yellows and hybrids
Is love a hybrid
of hopes, dreams and realities?
Ironys;
feelings held back
for fear of frightening?
Chasing doesn’t mean catching
and catching superficially
can soon leave you with nothing
but air.
So you tread the dreams,
oh so softly,
curves the petal of a rose.

Airy feelings, concrete feelings
time, experience takes you both ways
either way – ends of the spectrum
Closed fist or open hand?
Desire for one can cause the other –
backlashed.

Tentative steps lit by the brilliance of your smile
Lips speak no words, but sculpt a promise of music
when we finally kiss.
feelings tear down walls
And friendship builds foundations
and …
The windows to your soul sparkle
among the red and blue and irish white
stained glass frames.

Each day I walk a little further down the road,
feelings hills, valleys, cold relief, shared warmth
My space is invaded

Ohio Irish American News: A Story from this Month’s Issue ~ Blowin In

Blowin’ In: A Charm for Luck
By Susan Mangan

At our Catholic elementary school, families are asked to assist with weekly bingo in the parish hall. Over the years, I have come to recognize the regulars. When I work in the kitchen, I know that Josie likes her grilled cheese toasted lightly rather than burnt to a cinder. I know that Kay prefers a center cut of lemon pudding cake, and Sam enjoys an edge piece of pizza.

Talk sweetly to the good folks and you will be rewarded with a smile. Talk loudly and you will be duly hushed with a fierce scowl and a wag of a nicotine-stained finger. Bingo is serious business. The clientele may appear to be out for a leisurely evening of holy gambling, but armed with a veritable battery of good luck charms, they are out to win.
Good luck charms take on many shapes. For the bingo players, luck can come in the form of a plastic angel, a garden gnome, or a series of buttons depicting a slew of grandchildren at play. Whatever the device for luck, a definite individual theme is always present in dress and token.

Popular lore has it that the horseshoe and four-leaf clover are Irish tokens of luck. In truth, the very land itself held portents of good fortune or impending tragedy. It was said that a walking stick made of hazel protected against fairies and helped to heal snakebites. As noted folklorist and author Kevin Danaher states, “Both claims are hard to dispute in a country where the fairies remain invisible and snakes do not live.”
Nonetheless, harmless magical charms can provide the superstitious owner with a bit of comfort and confidence. And who knows where the line of reality and fantasy cross? There are still those that believe that the three-legged iron pot of gold lies at the foot of the rainbow.

I have never held much faith in popular culture, but I do have a regard for the ancient ways. Before the birth of penicillin and modern medicine, doctors, midwives, and women had to possess a certain knowledge of the plants that sprouted from the earth, the animals that walked across it, and the cures they held within.

Poultices made from elder roots helped cure warts and toothaches, while the berries could be boiled into a potion to ease coughs. One of the more curious and doubtful remedies for the mumps involved rubbing the afflicted child’s head against a pig’s back while calling out in Irish, “Pig, pig, here are your mumps.” The affliction was said to then pass on to the pig. Given such dubious medical treatment, a bit of luck was indeed necessary to aid the stricken and of course a most hardy disposition!

Walking through an old graveyard, whether at home or abroad, illuminates those who found fortune’s favor and those who did not. I recall visiting a cemetery perched high above Loch Ness in Scotland. Mist hung around the graves like a shroud. Given the dates and sentiments inscribed on the tombstones, the villagers buried beneath this rocky earth either died in childhood or lived well into their nineties. Ever more proof that the strongest survived despite primitive medicine and isolation.

This same earth that holds her dead offers up rocks and minerals known to heal, and known to soothe. During the Middle Ages, midwives would offer the laboring mother pink quartz to hold between her clenched hands. Pink quartz was thought to induce serenity and help calm the patient.

Years ago when my husband and I were first married, we were anxious to start a family. As a few years passed, I began to grow impatient and read about an old wives tale that if the would-be mother placed a stone of pink quartz beneath her bed a baby would soon be born. “What the heck!” I thought. Having found a pile of pink quartz in a New Age store, I purchased one and put it beneath my bed. Within a year, our daughter was born.
My parents celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary on Mackinaw Island, Michigan. More than a popular tourist destination, this island offers the visitor a glimpse of the past where horses take the place of cars. Lilacs bloom in late May, flooding the air with honeyed perfume and coloring the island with a riot of color.

While wandering from shop to shop one day, I discovered a quaint Irish import store. Here I found a bracelet made from pink quartz joined with a silver Trinity knot. This bracelet has become my talisman, my good luck charm. It symbolizes the longevity of my parent’s union and my connection to their past.

My affinity for pink quartz continues to surface in the most unusual places, such as the cemetery at the foot of Slievemore in Achill Island. During our last family trip to Ireland, we traveled to Slievemore looking for my husband’s grandfather’s grave.

My youngest son and his cousin were scurrying around stinging nettles trying not to step on any gravesites lest they disrespect the dead. So, the two boys thought it best to take to the trees where they would have a better vantage point of the sites. Dangling from rowan and hawthorn branches, the boys decided to jump, narrowly missing a divot in the ground. They landed aside an unusual stone. The rock was burgundy and moss green. Curiously, the corner of the rock covered in dirt blushed pink when polished. This ordinary rock, over time, had melded with pink quartz.

I squirreled the treasure home to America, where it now sits on a shelf. The stone, its blending of textures and colors, is not so unlike our family and our journey. It remains a quiet reminder of the indelible tie between the earth, family roots, and our turn at good fortune.

Sources consulted: Danaher, Kevin. “Irish Customs and Beliefs.” Mercier Press, 2004.
O’Farrell, Padraic. “Superstitions of the Irish Country People.” Mercier Press, 2004.

Susan holds a Master of Arts in English from John Carroll University and a Master of Arts in Education from Baldwin-Wallace College. She may be contacted at suemangan@yahoo.com.

Window Without Mold

Window Without Mold

Yesterday, I shared dinner with a group called Ohio Bloggers. They are what they say they are, and more. Support and ideas, and eventually, friendship, yield more support and more ideas. Inspiring, tipping and tripping, lead and push writers on What to write, how to write it, and other things you never expected.

There is no mold for a blogger, tho tendrils of genetic make up and mutations echo. Bloggers are created out of their own unique DNA and tempering experiences, getting news and info from people who have already done the groundwork, the digging and constant exposure to the sun, and rain, that defines, not from falling, but from getting up again.

Muses: Some have had a lot of physical pain, some have lost weight, lost wait or found themselves through writing, as man has since the dawn of woman. Whether you like to write and run toward your problems or from them, to digest them or to make them pretty enough to eat, the mix of writers at the table last night was Far Side meets South Side. There is truth in humor, and humor in truth.

(Poise in Parma gave a Clue into Cleveland. Why Cle? You can Eat Drink Cleveland, Cooker Girl, with a Rust Belt Runner, full of Songs and Stories, have Miss Wine OHio with your sosAssociates, and find out, through Life Lyn Style, Am I There Yet? till finally, we Blog the New Black, for always have we been, Smitten in Cleveland):
Alicia from Poise in Parma
Amanda from Clue into Cleveland
Crystal from Eat Drink Cleveland
Holly from Rust Belt Runner
Jen from Why CLE?
John from Songs and Stories
Julie from Am I There Yet
Kimberly from SMITTEN…in cleveland
Lyn from Life Lyn Style
Nadine from Blog the New Black
Sarah from Cooker Girl
Stuart from sosAssociates
Tammy from Miss WineOH

Thirteen very lucky bloggers, sharing a love of writing, of using the journey to illuminate the lessons, to make life a little easier for each other, and anyone else that listens to the narration of the journey, in a blog.

Ohio Irish American News: A Story from this Month’s Issue ~ Terry from Derry: My Cosmetic Life

My cosmetic life
by Terry Boyle

Having had my fill of reality shows, I am beginning to despair over what we have produced as a mirror of our so-called life. It used to be that our escape was a soap opera, a movie, something removed from what we thought of as the real life. And, believe it or not, I think this is a good thing.

We all need to remove ourselves from the daily grind and indulge in non-fattening, non-life threatening, and non-stressful fantasy. As T.S Eliot put it ‘Humankind cannot bear very much reality’. We are simply not equipped to be absolute realists.

Our escape route can be a coping mechanism, a way of shouldering the hardships of daily living. It’s good to relax, switch off, without switching on to the absurd oxymoron of a reality show. And yet, it’s hard to find a channel in which the programmers are not exploiting another peephole into someone’s miserable life.

And while I’m not claiming to be an expert in this field (who in their right mind would own up to such admission) I have seen enough of these programmes to know they are reductive, and misleading. Can there ever be too much reality? Do I need to see a mother push her child into the limelight dressed like a hooker? Is there room in my world for those betrothed to a lifestyle in which plastic surgery is equated to a trip to the grocery store?

I find it interesting that a famous chef is loved for his frequent use of a swear word. His usage of the expletive as a verb, noun, adjective etc. is hardly masked by the bleeper. He treats competitors as excrement (another favourite four-letter word to be bleeped), and they like children accept his autocratic behaviour. They cower under his verbal whip, acquiesce to his maniacal perfection, and we accept this view of reality.

It would make for interesting drama if it were slightly sincere enough declare its manipulative hand. But if you are like me, we doubt if such a reality will be forthcoming. Instead, we will see the same usual pattern in which the stormy, ill-behaved, dissipate into conformity. The reprimanded focus of reality is restored, all within 60 minutes.

I imagine, that somewhere, right now, there is a team of people thinking how they can present a provocative, intellectually insulting show that will steal a prime time moment. Perhaps we will see neo-Nazis training to be the best bigots possible. As they attend boot camp, full of naked prejudice, we watch them struggle to live up to their potential as racists, and homophobes. We feel their pain as they fail their catechism test, Mein Kampt.

With a possible failing score on the slander and libel rating, we fear they will not matriculate into the glorious brigade of the burning cross. What these people need is someone with the backbone of a celebrity chef who specializes in demoralizing, a business entrepreneur who towers above all others, or a talent scout who loves to be hated. Or better still, an individual who embodies all of those traits.

It seems we have moved on from the witty sarcasm of the weakest link. The stakes have become increasingly higher, as our thirst for a more savage host has become unquenchable. We force this so-called expression of reality to be more extreme.

Our neo-Nazi host will have to excel in his deconstruction of the human spirit, otherwise ratings might teeter, and, our interest wane. Given the shock value of the subject, we are hooked into the show when he is revealed to be a family man who loves his wife. He is good with his kids, and attends church. On the surface of things, he is a patriot who loves his country.

It sounds crazy, extreme, but unfortunately, this is someone’s reality. Distasteful as it appears, there are those endorse such a worldview. They foster sectarianism, deal out abuse to make the chef look like a schoolyard bully. We have become accustomed to hearing of hate crimes.

People are discriminated against because of gender, sexual orientation, and the colour of their skin. This sordid reality is not only confined to the neo-nazi, right-winged extremes. It is perpetrated by well- meaning, God fearing people who refuse to face up to the consequences of their beliefs when it becomes manifested in acts of violence.

If only this reality could be edited, the shameless ignorance whittled away in an hour, it would make a show with a difference. It would be worth going on the roller coaster of emotions, from the disgust of the premiere to possibility of change at the finale, if we had someone to expose the dark reality that haunts our society. Since we live in a democracy, we have to believe that each of us is that person. Each of us has it within our power to change this reality by electing those we feel protect the rights of all.

Ohio Irish American News: A Story from this Month’s Issue: A Letter from Ireland:

A LETTER FROM IRELAND…Cathal Liam
The time is nigh; the hour is here. I’m finally off to Ireland and France. Heading to the airport, I can only recall the hours spent recovering from knee surgery dreaming of the day when I’d be heading back across the water. I’ve postponed the journey twice. Once because of a conflict with my wife’s plans and the other for selfish reasons: I didn’t want to miss a couple of Irish festivals here in the States.
It all worked out. The 30th Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival staged in Berea was a great one. With fine weather, wonderful people and brilliant music, I was happily ensconced with the Pat Fallon clan inside their Irish Imports booth signing copies of my Tom Cullen book, Fear Not The Storm.

Many old friends stopped by to offer greetings. Of note was Russ King. I’ve known this retired North Olmsted policeman for almost ten years. A true friend of Ireland, he’s been battling cancer for a good while now. Thankfully he’s holding his own and not abandoning the fight.

Between a part-time job, his hospital-volunteer work and numerous doctor appointments, this giant of a man with a heart of gold carries on nobly. There isn’t a finer person on the face of this earth. Between his steadfast determination and his wife Linda’s cooking, please God he’ll outlive us all.
Of course, I purposely ran into Mary Singer and her famed cherry cake. This year I met her lovely daughter Kathleen, who together with Mary, spent hours baking in the family kitchen preparing goodies for the festival. The cake and their company were better than ever.

Also book-reviewer and columnist Terry Kenneally said hello. You read his thoughtful comments each month among these pages. Not surprisingly, he was going on about a book he’s reading detailing the life and times of a much misunderstood Irish patriot Roger Casement, executed by the British for his involvement in the 1916 Easter Rebellion. Casement was another heroic/tragic figure who lived and died for the cause of Irish freedom. Look for Terry’s review soon.

Of course, there amid the throng of attendees at the fairgrounds scurried John O’Brien, Jr., festival co-director and co-publisher/editor of this very monthly. The many hours John annually devotes to the success of the Cleveland festival and this newspaper defies counting, so I was very chuffed to hear the many Ohio-IAN-reader comments lauding the paper, now almost six years old. Together the readership, the advertisers and the columnists have created a synergy that seems to be working well. Great stuff indeed!
To fill in the odd moments during the weekend, I entertained myself by scrutinizing the ‘unusual’ t-shirts festival-goers wear. A number certainly caught my eye. Two in particular depicted the ill-fated ship Titanic. Their captions proudly announced: “She was runnin’ fine when she left Ireland” and “Built by Irishmen; sunk by an Englishman.”

Speaking of t-shirt graphics, sure I shouldn’t be surprised by the fixation many have connecting the Irish with drink. I often just shake my head in dismay, thinking we have so much more to be proud of than our love for a good pint or two. Amid the array of political commentary: “O’Bama”; geographical visitations: “Dublin, Me Dublin”; sport-team honourees: “Indians” & “Browns” and Irish sayings such as “Éireann Sláinte” were “Fight me, I’m Irish”; “Eat, Drink & be Irish”; “Tall, dark & have some” [featuring an oversized pint of Guinness]; “Take an Irish vacation: Drink ‘til all you do is a dubblin”; Taste the good life – Guinness”; “Irish Yoga” [showing four contorted, drunken figures on the floor]; “Me drinkin’ cap”; and one of the cleverest “7 days without Guinness makes one weak.” One of the simplest, but most powerful t-shirts to pass by made just a single-word statement “Volunteer.” For without all the thousands who do volunteer at all the yearly Irish events throughout this land, there wouldn’t be any.

On a more sombre note, I was greatly saddened to read of the death of a good Dublin friend, Shay Courtney. The tribute to his life in History Ireland was thought provoking and revealing. Entitled “The man from Kilmashogue,” it stated, “[HI] marks the passing of James ‘Shay’ Courtney: soldier (he served with the Irish Army on the United Nations peace-keeping force in Cyprus); husband and father of all the Courtney clan; political and community activists; plumber; trade-unionist; mature student at Trinity College, Dublin; ebullient conversationalist; folk-singer; historian.” He lived and died in his beloved Kilmashogue, up among the Dublin Mountains.

Shay and I first crossed paths back in January, 2007. He e-mailed me from Ireland, “I see from the Wicklow People you’re seeking info on Tom Cullen. I’m currently doing research on the Tan War.” Well, that short missive began a long series of communiqués, telephone conversations and get-togethers over the next four years.

Rereading his e-mails, Shay knew of Tom when most didn’t. He even sent a friend down to Rathnew to check out Tom’s grave. That February, he wrote, “Having never been to Wicklow Town or Rathnew, I look forward to seeing the grave meself.”

Later in the spring, we agreed to meet and spend the day rambling around Dublin, as I’d soon be over to begin serious work on the book. So in May, I drove up from Wicklow and we rendezvoused in Enniskerry, not far from his home.
It was a memorable day. I fondly remember he insisted on buying me lunch at the Dropping Well Pub in Milltown, South Dublin. As it turned out, we had several mutual friends including Turlough Breathnach, the late headman at Pearse’s museum, St. Enda’s.

Among many, I fondly recall a comment he passed about Tom: “Cullen was pro-treaty but anti-imperialist. He would’ve opposed the O’Higgins-MacNeill-Tim Healy old Irish party line for they were the sort of people who’d send you their bill in guineas.”

So, as we all grow older and friends fall by the wayside, we savour our time spent together, knowing each has enriched life beyond measure.

Do keep well and God bless always, Cathal
Cathal’s newest novel, A Fire on the Mountain, is scheduled for release in mid-2013.

Ohio Irish American News: A Story from this Month’s Issue: Rachel Gaffney’s Real Ireland

Real Ireland, by Rachel Gaffney

Thursday August 30th, my second day in Dublin. I had co-ordinated a day trip for 500 U.S and Canadian High School students, including my own sons football team, the day before, and this evening was my one and only evening with my husband to spend alone.

We were hungry. Ireland has some of the finest ingredients in the world and we were looking for a restaurant that recognized the latter. I made a call to a friend, Tony Condon, Director of Development at UCD College of Business & Law. I knew Tony loved to cook. He would not fail me. Tony would know.

It had rained. The stitching on my trusty Texan cowboy boots had come undone and I could feel the rising damp. We walked our way from Grafton Street to South Great George’s Street, periodically putting our umbrellas up and down between those relentless Irish showers.

Upon arriving, the restaurant was already bustling. Because there were only two of us, we were seated promptly. Our table was situated next to the restrooms, a table we would normally avoid or refuse, but hunger, jet lag and damp feet won out this time.

The restaurant itself was not remarkable. It was similar in style to many I have experienced in New York, Chicago, Dallas and San Francisco. It is indeed a lovely restaurant and the staff were pleasant; it was the meal that was remarkable. There was a transformation that occurred that evening.

I admit that I was indeed tired, damp and hungry upon arrival. I was not my usual outgoing self. While we perused the menu, Peter, my husband, ordered us Salt Cod Brandad, to whet our appetites. ‘Salt cured cod crushed with onion potato parsley fried in rice bran oil with sweet onion, low fat creme fraiche and shaved ham.’

Peter and I exchanged glances as we began to taste this food; no words were needed. I know we both made sounds, perhaps moans that were in danger of attracting the wrong kind of attention! Then the Tempura of Salmon with crunchy broccoli, mint and cucumber arrived. ‘Native fish wrapped in nori seaweed cooked in rice bran oil brought together with crunchy vegetables and yoghurt’

My mood changed. The explosion of flavor was treat for my senses. It had been quite some time since I had eaten food this fresh and flavorful. Peter and I sat and chatted animatedly about the menu.

This chef, Dylan McGrath, deserves every success that comes his way. Here is a chef that knows his art, but more importantly, here is a chef with a respect for ingredients. I am not a chef. I have been saying this for the 11 years I have appeared on television shows over here and in newspaper articles (so please remember, when you see chef printed, it is not I that call myself a chef, I consider myself to be a seanachai, a storyteller!).

I simply love to cook. But more importantly, have a fond regard and respect for the ingredients from the island of Ireland.

People in the United States frequently ‘laugh’ at the mention of Irish cuisine. When someone takes a carrot from the ground and boils it until it is devoid of color, that is the fault of the person cooking the food, not the fault of the ingredient! I would not blame them for their laugh. But I know others cook differently.

I have never met Dylan McGrath, but could tell from the remainder of my meal that here was a man that worked hand in hand with what nature had provided him. He allowed their flavors to speak for themselves; he did not need to disguise them with sauces and creams.

The Outrageous Orange Salad was presented in a handmade wooden bowl. A miniature carafe filled with coriander and orange dressing lay carefully alongside the salad. Another victory. I hate it when salad arrives drenched in dressing. Here you can add your own. The seasonality of the ingredients were simply perfect.

I crunched on freshly shaved fennel, baby spinach cucumber sheets and wild rocket (known as arugula here in the United States).

Fennel is one of my favorite of all the aromatic herbs. The hint of anise, the freshness of the orange segments, combined with the slightly sweet caramel pecans, allow me to inhale deeply and revel in the delight I feel.

Our waiter was David, and he was as equally excited about what he was serving as we were about eating it. The damp in my feet no longer bothered me until I left the Rustic Stone. Our evening was a delight. The Rustic Stone served as an anodyne. I urge you to visit this respite for weary travelers when in Dublin and let me know what seasonal ingredients you sample.

“ At Rustic Stone our philosophy is simple. We source the best seasonal ingredients, then we apply simple techniques to extract the most flavour, while giving you the information you need to add nutrition and structure to your diet. The produce I’ve chosen and our demand for freshness, is the cornerstone of our Rustic idea, while providing a healthy but affordable eating approach” – Dylan McGrath. www.rusticstone.ie

https://twitter.com/Rachelgaffney, http://www.facebook.com/pages/RACHEL-GAFFNEYS-REAL-IRELAND/112638525439124

Ohio Irish American News: A Story from this Month’s Issue: The Dublin Bombings in WWII

The Dublin Bombing Raid
By: J. Michael Finn

Many people believe that the declaration of neutrality prevented Ireland from experiencing the death and destruction of the war. Under the leadership of Eamon de Valera, Ireland remained neutral during World War II, this did not keep the war away from its shores. The fact is that Ireland, including the city of Dublin, was bombed on several occasions during the course of the war. Some questions remain today regarding the cause of the attacks.

Between August 26, 1940 and January 3, 1941, Ireland was bombed on four separate occasions. These bombings occurred as far north as County Monaghan and as far south as County Wexford. The causality figures from the four bombing raids were 6 killed and approximately 26 injured. All caused significant to minor property damage.


In several of the instances, the German government later paid reparations to the neutral Irish government, as the bombings were deemed to be the result of error or accident.
The most damaging and deadly raid occurred on May 31, 1941.

One bomb fell in the Ballybough area, demolishing two houses, injuring many, but with no loss of life. A second fell 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, causing no injuries. The fourth bomb fell in North Strand, destroying 17 houses and severely damaging about 50 others. This claimed the lives of 28 people, injured 90, destroyed or damaged approximately 300 houses, and left over 400 people homeless. The Irish Red Cross provided emergency shelter for people made homeless either at the Mansion House or in parish halls throughout the city.
Was this another “accident of war”, or were there other reasons for the bombing? The then West German government claimed this bombing was accidental and, after the war, paid reparations in the amount of £327,000 to the victims for the violation of Irish neutrality. However, some alternate theories of the attack persist.

Prior to this attack, the city of Belfast was firebombed by the Germans. The raid (known as the Belfast Blitz) was on the night of Easter Tuesday, April 15, 1941. Two hundred bombers of the Luftwaffe attacked the city of Belfast. Air protection for the city by the RAF had been removed in order to protect the cities in England, so the bombers completed their work unmolested.
Over 900 people died as a result of the bombing and 1,500 were injured. Half of the houses in Belfast were damaged or destroyed. This was the greatest loss of life in a night raid during the Blitz, except for the raid on London.

Eamon De Valera immediately condemned the raid to the German government. He also ordered the Dublin Fire Brigade to Belfast to assist in fighting the fires (71 firefighters and 13 fire tenders spent three days in Belfast fighting the fires). Although this action was a violation of Irish neutrality, de Valera said, “In the past, and probably in the present, too, a number of them did not see eye to eye with us politically, but they are our people – we are one and the same people – and their sorrows in the present instance are also our sorrows; and I want to say to them that any help we can give to them in the present time we will give to them whole-heartedly, believing that were the circumstances reversed they would also give us their help whole-heartedly …”

After the Belfast raid, German propaganda broadcaster Lord Haw-Haw said in a radio broadcast that because de Valera had helped Belfast in violation of its neutrality that a bombing of Dublin would be next. De Valera also permitted some refugees from Belfast to relocate to Dublin, receiving them at the North Strand train station.

Just 45 days later, Dublin was bombed. Was the “accidental” bombing of Dublin the result of deliberate retaliation? No hard evidence exists to support it, other than the wild predictions of Lord Haw-Haw.

Another theory is that the bombing was in retaliation for Ireland’s assistance to Britain in providing regular weather reports, or because allied prisoners that ended up in Ireland tended to find their way back to Britain, where as German POW’s were interned.

Still another possible theory comes from Winston Churchill. After the war, Churchill speculated that the Dublin bombing may have been caused by England’s experiments with a radio beam weapon intended to unbalance the German’s navigation equipment. The bomber’s navigation equipment may have led the pilot to believe he was over an English city, when, in fact, he was over Dublin.

On June 5, 1941 a mass funeral was held for twelve of the victims; de Valera and other government officials attended. On the same day in a speech to the Dáil, de Valera said: “It has been for all our citizens an occasion of profound sorrow in which the members of this House have fully shared. The Dáil will also desire to be associated with the expression of sincere thanks which has gone out from the Government and from our whole community to the several voluntary organizations the devoted exertions of whose members helped to confine the extent of the disaster and have mitigated the sufferings of those affected by it.”

On May 31, 2011, Councilor Ray McAdam, representing the Lord Mayor of Dublin, and the German Ambassador, His Excellency Busso Von Alvensleben, officially re-opened the refurbished Memorial Garden on the grounds of Marino University in Dublin. They unveiled a plaque commemorating the 70th Anniversary of the attack. The plaque is dedicated to the victims of the North Strand bombing.

If you are interested in learning more about the North Strand bombing, the Dublin City Archives has set up a website containing photographs and personal stories from survivors of the bombing. This can be found at http://northstrandbombing.wordpress.com/

*J. Michael Finn is the Ohio State Historian for the Ancient Order of Hibernians and Division Historian for the Patrick Pearse Division in Columbus, Ohio. He is also Chairman of the Catholic Record Society for the Diocese of Columbus, Ohio. He writes on Irish and Irish-American history; Ohio history and Ohio Catholic history. You may contact him at FCoolavin@aol.com.

Whats going on this weekend?

Fri 19th: WalkingCane@TheHarp DonalOShaughnessy@FlatIron TimeWarp@PJ’s PunchtheClown@WPStation LochErie@IACES TradSession@LogansIrishPub JimGill@Sullys CarlosJones@HooleyHouse PubQuiz@WSIA PatShepard@Mullarkeys

Sat20th: Fior Gael@TheHarp VictoryHighway@PJ’s DOnalOshaughnessy@Sullys JeffSoukupBand@HoooelyHouse Michael Crawley@WSIA DanMcCoy@Mullarkeys

Sun21st: WalkingCane@Treehouse Browns WKNR PregameShow@PJ’s