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The Burning of Bombay Street – 40 years on – March and Rally

14 August, 2009 - by Fra McCann

Bombay Street PosterWest Belfast Sinn Féin MLA Fra McCann is urging the community to come out onto the streets this Sunday, 16th August, to remember the 40th anniversary of the pogroms of 1969 when whole streets in the Falls and Clonard areas were attacked and burnt by unionist mobs supported by the RUC and ‘B’ Specials.

Mr McCann said:

“In August 1969, loyalists, backed up by the forces of the unionist state, attacked our community. They burnt homes in Bombay Street and Clonard Gardens, in Dover Street and Percy Street and in Conway Street and Cupar Street.

“They attempted to get to Clonard Monastery only to meet resistance from the courageous young people of the area. They came onto the Falls and attacked Saint Comgall’s Primary School but were repelled by a poorly armed but brave and determined IRA.

“The RUC murdered nine-year-old Patrick Rooney in Divis Flats and also murdered Hugh McCabe. Fian Gerard McAuley was shot dead by loyalists while defending Bombay Street.

“Out of the ashes arose the IRA and the Orange state was challenged like never before. Today, 40 years later, the Orange state is gone, the ‘B’ specials and their UDR successors are gone and the RUC is gone.

“We still have a long way to go but we have come a long way and we have made many gains. We now have a peaceful strategy to achieve Irish unity and equality.

“So, this Sunday, 16th August, at 11.45am, the people of West Belfast and further afield should assemble at Divis Tower to take part in the march and rally to Bombay Street, to commemorate the vicious attack that was perpetrated and remember those who lost their lives during that attack.

“And we should also feel proud that, in the aftermath of the pogroms, we said never again and we meant it.” ENDS

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