Explosion at Grattan Street tenement in Cork city

6th May 1919
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Cork, 6 May 1919 - A bomb-making factory has been discovered in Cork city after an explosion last week in a house on Grattan Street left a number of people requiring treatment for burns and shock.

"As the debris was being cleared from the house, a cache of bombs was discovered in the clay beneath the kitchen floor. 262 bombs of gelignite in various stages of completion were found: 79 ‘live’ bombs and a further 64 in the process of preparation; in another trunk, 25 bombs were found and in another part of the kitchen, a keg was discovered carrying 75 bombs, capped and ready for use. Revolver cartridges, sticks of gelignite, detonators and bottles of acid were also unearthed.

The explosion took place in a three-storey tenement house on Grattan Street, the ground floor of which was used as a shop by a shoemaker named Andrew Ahern, whose home address is on Blarney Street. The explosion appears to have occurred in the kitchen of the house, situated immediately behind the shop.

The force of the explosion caused windows to shatter, and a sidewall of an annexe building to be blown away. Several people passing the house at the moment of the explosion were thrown almost fully across the street.

Among the injured were Mrs McMahon, a tenant of the Grattan Street house, who experienced shock, scalp wounds and an injury to her knee; Cissie Moore from Anne Street, who suffered burns to her hands and face; Michael Tobin of 28 Sheares Street who suffered extensive burns to his hands, face and legs. Also wounded were Jeremiah Downey of 21 Henry Street and Timothy Hegarty of Grattan Street, both of whom experienced burns to their hands and face.

Ms Moore, as well as Mr Tobin and Mr Downey,  were taken to Mercy Hospital where they were detained and treated. On arrival at the infirmary, the two men gave their names in Irish. Another man, Timothy Hegarty, was taken to North Infirmary.

Police are anxious to speak with the shoemaker, Andrew Ahern, about the explosion."

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