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The Irish News, 6 July 2006:

Horror lives on for bar owner

By Margaret Canning

John McErlean has strong memories of the devastation caused to his family's pub, Kay's Tavern in Crowe Street, Dundalk on December 19 1975. Aged 21, he was working behind the bar when the loyalist bomb went off, killing two men in their sixties, Hugh Watters and Jack Rooney.

"I was standing with my back to the front of the bar and I was filling a glass with whiskey for a customer", Mr McErlean said.

"Next thing I knew, I was lying on the floor and a light was on top of me. I was trying to  kick it off me and then a shock went right through my body.

"The front of the bar was an inferno nut I got out of an exit behind the gents toilet.

"The bar was levelled because a fuel tank had ignited."

The bomb horrified Dundalk, especially as many felt that the trauma of the Troubles would be confined to the north. Mr McErlean said the family tried to be practical.

"You have to get on with life and we rebuilt the bar, but the business was devastated for about 10 years," he said.

"There was a large number of people who wouldn't come near it again after the bomb.

"I spoke to people years and years afterwards who still wouldn't walk into Crowe Street."

"I never got involved in [the] politics [of who planted the bomb] because I had a business to run and I wanted bygones to be bygones.

"I didn't want to be drawn in but I always suspected there was collusion."

Download the Barron Report on the Dundalk bombing from the Oireachtas website.

This document is in Adobe PDF format and can be downloaded from the link below.

Interim Report on the Report of the Independent Commission of Inquiry into the Bombing of Kay's Tavern, Dundalk.

Houses of the Oireachtas, Joint Committee on Justice, Equality, Defence and Women's Rights.

Download the free reader software for Adobe PDF format

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See the Irish News: "Relatives 'furious' over Barron report blunder

See also The Irish News online breaking news, 5 July 2006: Pub bombers 'treated better than victims' families'

See also: Oireachtas press release of 5 July 2006.

Daily Ireland, 6 July 2006: Blast victim’s relative hits out

The Irish Examiner, 6 July 2006: Loyalists had licence to kill Catholics, finds inquiry

The Irish Independent, 6 July 2006: Bombers 'treated better than victims'

The Irish News, 6 July 2006: Relatives want 1975 bombing inquiry

LMFM Radio online news report, 6 July 2006: Hearings into report on Dundalk bombing to begin in September

TOM News, 6 July 2006: Latest Barron Report Highlights Need for Ahern-Blair Summit on Collusion

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Produced in association with the Ludlow Family.

Last edited: 09 July 2006 02:37:06

 Visit the Ludlow family's websiteVisit Justice for the Forgotten  Statement by John Oliver Weir

Download the Barron Inquiry Report into the 17 May 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings, (pdf file)

Barron Report: on the Dublin Bombings of 1972 and 1973, can also be downloaded in pdf form

Download the Barron Report into the murder of Seamus Ludlow from the Oireachtas website (pdf file)

Copyright © 2006 the Rooney, Watters and Ludlow families. 

All rights reserved. Revised: July 09, 2006 .