Gardaí hope a newly released photo of a potential suspect in bombings in Counties Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal 50 years ago will shed some light on the atrocities that killed two teenagers and wounded eight others.
Three bombs exploded at Belturbet, Co Cavan; Clones, Co. Monaghan and Pettigo, Co. Donegal within an hour of each other on 28 December 1972. As the 50th anniversary of the atrocities approaches, Gardaí have launched a new call for information.
At 10.28pm a car bomb exploded outside Farrelly’s Bar and McGowan’s Drapery on Main Street in Belturbet. Patrick Stanley, 16, of Clara, Co Offaly, and Geraldine O’Reilly, 15, of Drumacon, Belturbet, were killed instantly and eight others injured.
Another bomb in a blue Morris 1100 exploded in Fermanagh Street, Clones, Co. Monaghan at 10.01pm. Two men were seriously injured while father of eight, Patrick McCabe, a Clones local, died on January 4, 1973 after falling from a roof he was repairing which was damaged by the bomb. At 10.50pm a bomb left in a container outside Britton’s Pub in Mullnagoad, near Pettigo, Co Donegal, exploded injuring a woman.
Chief Supt Alan McGovern is urging the public to help Gardaí identify a man pictured, believed to be the driver of a stolen red Ford Escort, identified at a customs checkpoint at Aghalane Bridge on the evening of December 28 would.
He is described as 18 years old, 5 feet 8 inches tall, with a long, thin, pale face, a “very noticeable” nose and long, dark brown, curly hair. He wore a dark double-breasted blazer with wide lapels, collar and tie, and had a silver or steel bracelet around his wrist. He is also believed to be the driver of a blue Ford Cortina, registration number BIA 477, which was stolen from Main Street, Belturbet – believed to be the getaway car.
Others in the car were described as a girl, sitting in the back, aged between 18 and 19, quite tall, with blonde, shoulder-length hair that was parted in the middle and pushed back from her forehead. She had sharp features, a pale complexion, and wore a long dark coat (maybe red) and a turtleneck sweater.
Two other men who got into the same car are said to have both had dark hair, shorter than the driver’s, and were both in their 20s with Northern Irish accents. Dressed in dark, conservative clothing, they were described as well-dressed and well-groomed.
They are also hoping to identify a man wearing a distinctive “wet look” black jacket with “Dunlop” lettering seen on the day of the Belturbet bombing. He was between 25 and 28 years old, about 6 feet tall, had dark brown or bushy hair, side curls, wore trousers with large gray or white checks and spoke with a Northern Irish accent.
Gardaí also hope to identify another man, between 23 and 25 years old, who stood between 5ft 7in and 5ft 9in, had straight, dark, medium-length hair, was well groomed, and had a long, oval face and pointed chin had. He was slight and wore an expensive looking black jacket, side pockets, flared pants, collar and tie. He wore a watch with a gold bracelet.
They are also looking for a man with missing fingers who was driving a stolen Morris 1100 up north on the day of the bombings.
Chief Supt McGovern said: “There are people out there who know who committed these crimes. You may not have been able to speak at the time or afterwards. Relationships may have changed and over time they may feel able to speak, or as they get older they may want to speak now before the opportunity is lost. I ask you to contact the investigative team and help An Garda Síochána find answers for the families of those killed and injured in Belturbet, Clones or Pettigo.”
Deputy Commissioner Michael McElgunn said Gardaí were asking for information on both sides of the border, saying: “It’s never too late to talk, please contact us.”
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/crime/gardai-hope-new-photofit-of-1972-belturbet-bombing-suspect-will-help-solve-atrocities-42231540.html Gardaí hope the new footage of the alleged 1972 Belturbet bombing will help clarify the atrocities