Gardaí renew appeal over Belturbet bombing

At 10:28pm on the 28th of December, 1972 a car bomb exploded outside Farrelly’s Bar and McGowan’s Drapery on Main Street, Belturbet, Co. Cavan. Two children, Patrick Stanley, 16 years, of Clara, Co. Offaly, and Geraldine O’Reilly, 15 years, of Drumacon, Belturbet, Co. Cavan, were killed instantly; eight more people were injured.

Patrick Stanley (16) was from Clara, Co. Offaly. Survived by his parents, Teresa (RIP) and Joe (RIP) and nine siblings. A keen hurler, Gaelic footballer and soccer player, Patrick had recently won an All-Star award for Gaelic football with his school, Árd Scoil Ciarán. He had applied for a cadetship in the Army and, at the time of his murder, was temporarily employed by local businessman, Pat Jennings as a helper on a Calor Gas delivery lorry. On 28th December 1972, there had been a problem with the lorry; he and the driver decided to stay in Belturbet overnight. When the bomb exploded, Patrick Stanley was in the public phone kiosk on the Main Street, trying to telephone his parents to tell them he would not be home.

Geraldine O’Reilly (15) was from Drumacon, Staghall, Belturbet, Co. Cavan. Survived by her parents, Mary Kate (RIP) and Joseph (RIP) and seven siblings. Geraldine was the youngest of her family and had completed her Group Certificate examination the previous June, gaining six honours and intended taking up a career in nursing. Geraldine O’Reilly had come into town with her brother Anthony to get food from a local restaurant. She was in the restaurant, when the bomb car, which was parked directly opposite, exploded resulting in Geraldine sustaining fatal injuries.

Following a review of the investigation, An Garda Síochána has identified a number of lines of inquiry. A Senior Investigating Officer has been appointed to lead the investigation and an incident room has been established at Ballyconnell Garda Station.

Gardaí are appealing for anyone with information in relation to the Belturbet Bombing on 28th December, 1972 to contact the incident room at Ballyconnell Garda Station 049 9525580, the Garda confidential line Free-phone 1800 666 111 or Crimestoppers 1800 250025.