Rose & Crown Bar bombing

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Rose & Crown Bar bombing
Part of the Troubles
LocationOrmeau Road, Belfast,
Northern Ireland
Date2 May 1974
22:00 (GMT)
TargetIrish Catholics,
Irish Nationalists
Attack type
Time bomb
Weaponsgelignite bomb
PerpetratorUlster Volunteer Force (UVF)

The Rose & Crown Bar bombing was a bomb attack carried out against a Catholic-owned pub in Belfast. The attack was carried out by the loyalist paramilitary group the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) just less than two weeks before the start of the Ulster Workers' Council strike of May 1974 which brought down the Sunningdale power sharing agreement and just 15 days before the UVF carried out the Dublin and Monaghan bombings which killed 34 and injured 300 people, the highest casualty rate in a single day during The Troubles in either Ireland or Britain.


Loyalists and Unionist from nearly all political and social backgrounds reacted with anger to the Sunningdale agreement in particular the part that offered the Dublin government a say in how Northern Ireland would be governed. Many young Loyalists joined the Loyalist paramilitary groups like the UVF and Ulster Defence Association (UDA). In the weeks leading up to May 1974 the Loyalist paramilitaries had intensified their campaign. On 9 February the UDA shot dead two Catholic civilians in a bar in Belfast [1] Two days later on 11 February two more Catholics were killed by the UDA/UFF.[2] On 19 February the UVF killed two more civilians in a bomb attack on a pub in Armagh.[3] On 29 March the UVF bombed Conways bar in Belfast killing two more Catholic civilians.[4] On 21 April the UVF shot dead a Sinn Féin member in Fermanagh.[5]

The Bombing[edit]

At around 22:00 pm terrorists belonging to the UVF (Ulster Volunteer Force) threw a cylinder bomb laden with 200lb of high explosives through the front door of the Catholic-owned Rose & Crown bar on the Lower Ormeau Road. The bomb exploded immediately once inside. The explosion brought the front of the entrance crashing down making it impossible for people to escape. Five Catholics were killed outright with one more dying from his wounds a day or two later.

Eyewitnesses described scenes of men missing legs or arms and one man blown in half. A 75-year-old man lost a leg and another man his arm. One of the victims, a 17-year-old boy, was walking past the bar when the bomb went off; the blast was so powerful that it blew both his legs off and killed him instantly.[6]


Memorial to the dead in the Rose & Crown bomb, Farnham Street, Belfast

A white sedan seen near the building was later found abandoned in a Protestant area half a mile away.

Two teenagers were eventually arrested and jailed for the bombings.[7]

Loyalist paramilitaries killed a total of 51 one people the majority of whom were killed in the Dublin and Monaghan bombings 17 May and injured about 400 in the month of May 1974 alone making May 1974 the worst month out of the whole conflict for Loyalist paramilitary attacks.[8][5]

In 2014 for the 40th anniversary of the bombing a monument near the bomb site was dedicated to the victims of the UVF atrocity.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sutton, Malcolm. "CAIN: Sutton Index of Deaths". Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  2. ^ Sutton, Malcolm. "CAIN: Sutton Index of Deaths". Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  3. ^ Sutton, Malcolm. "CAIN: Sutton Index of Deaths". Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  4. ^ Sutton, Malcolm. "CAIN: Sutton Index of Deaths". Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  5. ^ a b Sutton, Malcolm. "CAIN: Sutton Index of Deaths". Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  6. ^ "Getty Images". Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Monument to mark UVF atrocity at Rose and Crown bar on Belfast's Ormeau Road -". Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  8. ^ Melaugh, Dr Martin. "CAIN: Chronology of the Conflict 1974". Retrieved 1 August 2017.