British Embassy in Dublin bombed
On the day that funerals were held for victims of Bloody Sunday in Londonderry, a huge mob destroyed the British Embassy in Dublin. Over the preceding three days rioting had got steadily worse, and the Embassy had already been evacuated by diplomats and other staff members, only a few guards remaining to defend the building.
A little after midnight on February 1 a gelignite bomb blasted the front door, severely injuring a policeman and some of the demonstrators themselves. Stones and bricks were thrown, breaking every single pane of glass in the building’s frontage. But more seriously it was estimated that several hundred rudimentary petrol bombs were hurled at the Merrion Square establishment over the three days of riots. At its peak the mob comprised about 30,000 people, a number that made control by Gardai alone impossible.
Eventually on February 2 the building was gutted by flames. The Irish government had totally failed in its duty to protect an embassy, and agreed to compensate Britain for the damage. A new embassy was established soon after the incident near the site of the original building.
More famous dates here
6996 views since 2nd February 2009
On this day: