Belfast Telegraph

Omagh bombing anniversary: A&E nurse recalls the 'darkest' day of her life

Sister Joann McCullagh
Sister Joann McCullagh

By PA Reporter

A nurse working at the Tyrone County Hospital in Omagh at the time of the bomb has called it the "darkest" day of her life.

Sister Joann McCullagh, a staff nurse at the time of the atrocity, is proud to have been on duty that day and proud of how the people of Omagh pulled together.

She had been relaxing at home on the Saturday afternoon following a week of night shifts when she heard about the bomb, after which she immediately went to the hospital.

When Joann arrived at A&E, she was met with a scene of chaos. "There were people screaming and cars everywhere, buses coming... it was chaos," she said.

"There was no concept of time, it was just a mass of people coming through the doors, people asking for loved ones.

"One of my memories was [a surgeon] asking me to get a priest. I recall at the bottom of the stairs there were hundreds of people, roaring, shouting, crying, screaming for loved ones.

"I recall seeing a priest and I remember reaching over this mass of people, dragging him up the stairs.

"When we got to the theatre door, there was a red line. He stopped and said, 'You can't enter theatre'. I remember going, 'I need you now', and pulling him into the theatre.

"He was obviously giving last rites to one of the unfortunate victims."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph