Belfast Telegraph

Village remembers war bomb victims

Church bells have rung out in a quiet Wexford village to mark the 70th anniversary of a deadly German bomb attack.

Three women were killed when four Luftwaffe bombs were dropped over the Shelbourne Co-op in Campile at the height of the Second World War.

Decades after the 1940 blast, local people gathered at the site of the former creamery to pray and remember the tragedy. Their silence was broken by the tolling of bells from nearby churches at 1.50pm - the moment the devices exploded.

This weekend, survivors, relatives and public figures are also set to attend the unveiling of a memorial garden and sculpture at the site.

Councillor Larry O'Brien, one of the organisers of Saturday's event, said the bombing would never be forgotten in the close-knit village. He explained: "The impact was devastating for miles and miles around.

"All those people were back at work the following morning. Three of their friends had been killed. They didn't know why the place was targeted or for what reason and we still don't know."

The women, Kathleen Hurley, 27, and sisters Mary Ellen, 30, and Kitty Kent, 26, were in the Co-op's canteen when the bombs fell. Just minutes beforehand, the room had been full of workers eating lunch.

Mr O'Brien said: "At the time the Shelbourne Co-op was the centre of the village, there were hundreds of people working there. If it had happened earlier, there would have been a lot more killed."

Fisheries Minister Sean Connick said: "Terrible things are done in wartime and in peacetime we commemorate the people who tragically lost their lives.

"These were three women who went to work and never came back - we should never forget them."

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