Dublin Airport bombing

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Dublin Airport bombing
Part of the Troubles
Dublin Airport 1971 01 @chesi.jpg
Dublin Airport in 1971
LocationDublin Airport, Dublin, Republic of Ireland
Date29 November 1975
Attack type
2 time bombs
Deaths1 civilian
PerpetratorUlster Defence Association (UDA)

On 29 November 1975, a bomb exploded in the arrivals terminal of Dublin Airport, killing one person and injuring nine others. The Ulster Defence Association (UDA), a loyalist paramilitary group from Northern Ireland, claimed responsibility for the bombing. It was one of a series of loyalist bomb attacks in the Republic of Ireland during the late 1960s and early 1970s.


Loyalists had been carrying out bomb attacks in the Republic of Ireland, mainly in Dublin, since the beginning of the Troubles in August 1969. Several of these had resulted in fatalities. Three civilians were killed and almost 200 injured in the 1972 and 1973 Dublin bombings, while 34 civilians were killed in the Dublin and Monaghan bombings of 17 May 1974, the deadliest attack of the Troubles.[1]

The bombing[edit]

On the afternoon of Saturday 29 November, a bomb exploded in the public toilets in the arrivals terminal of Dublin Airport. It killed Aer Lingus worker John Hayes (38), a married father of three who lived in Balbriggan, and injured nine others.[2] According to bomb experts the bomb was hidden in a toilet tissue dispenser and went off after Hayes washed his hands and was about to leave. The blast ripped through a wall into a public bar where about thirty people were sitting.[2] The airport was evacuated and a second bomb was found and safely detonated by a bomb disposal team.[3]


The UDA claimed responsibility for the bombing shortly after. It said it was "retaliation for the murders of members of the British security forces [4] by the IRA operating unhindered from the haven of the Republic with the blessing of the Dublin government".[2]

Political leaders and the main political parties condemned the bombing. Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) leader Gerry Fitt said it was "crazy that the UDA was still a fully legalised organisation" in the United Kingdom.[2]

The UDA bombed Dublin again 11 years later in November 1986, planting four small bombs in bins. Two of the bombs were defused but two other bombs detonated, although they only caused minor damage and a small fire and nobody was killed or injured in the 86' bombings. The UDA said they planted the bombs in protest at the Anglo-Irish Agreement of 1985. [5]


  1. ^ Conway, Vicky. Policing Twentieth Century Ireland: A History of An Garda Síochána. Routledge, 2013. p.110
  2. ^ a b c d McKittrick, David. Lost Lives. Random House, 2001. p.600
  3. ^ "Airport worker was killed by 1975 bombing". The Irish Independent. 22 April 2005. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
  4. ^ In this instance, British security forces includes both the British Army and the RUC.
  5. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/1986/11/09/world/around-the-world-irish-protestant-group-says-it-planted-bombs.html