01 Oct 2022

Bomb scare - city store evacuated after hoax call

Kilkenny People Lookback

Gardai rushed to the store and carried out a thorough search of the premises

Here's what made the front page of the Kilkenny People on October 15, 1971 - 50 years ago this week

Goods Drapery store on High Street was cleared of customers and staff on Friday morning after an anonymous telephone caller had warned that a bomb had been planted on the premises.
Gardai rushed to the store and six of them, together with proprietor Mr Vivian Good, carried out a thorough search of the premises. But nothing was found. “Nevertheless, it wasn’t a very nice job to have to do,” one of the guards observed afterwards.
Mr Good said he had no doubt that the caller was a hoaxer but in the interests of safety he had no alternative but to clear the premises. He said the caller was either a woman or a youth. The voice was certainly not a man’s.
Gardai are following a ‘definite lead’ into the arms raid on the Sports Shop, Kilkenny, on Wednesday evening of last week and they are hoping for an early development, a garda spokesman said.
However, he added that he was not in a position to elaborate further at present.
The whereabouts of the 40 shotguns, 20 rifles and 11,000 rounds of ammunition taken in the raid is still a mystery but they are generally believed to be in Northern Ireland.
Prominent gunmen to whom the Kilkenny People spoke agreed that the guns would of little military use in the North. But they would be valuable as defence weapons.
Since an army raid in Belfast early on Wednesday morning in which rifles and three new shotguns were discovered, there has been growing speculation that some of the guns may have come from Kilkenny.
But a Garda spokesman said it would be some time before the registration numbers of the seized guns could be compared with the numbers of the guns taken in Kilkenny.
There was good news this week for Ballingarry, the mining town on the Kilkenny-Tipperary border, which has been hit by redundancies since April of this year.
In the High Court on Monday, a scheme to enable the Ballingarry Collieries to pay its creditors and restart mining of anthracite was approved by Mr Justice Kenny
The shopkeepers and traders of the area who were ‘caught’ for over £83,000 when mine cheques bounced are also to get their money back.
The traders are confident that they will get their money in the next few weeks after a long wait, but the main concern now is to get the mines moving as quickly as possible.
“The biggest rescue operation ever performed since the establishment of the State,” was how chairman Mr James Murphy described the whole affair.
“If that court had not come up with something on Monday,” he said, “there would not be a miner left in Ballingarry today. They had to hang around far too long.”
Mr Murphy is confident that the mines will be humming in a few weeks but his confidence is not shared by the out of work miners who are, to say the least, a bit sceptical.
As they trooped into the Garda Barracks in Ballingarry on Wednesday to sign for unemployment assistance they spoke of how happy they were to be going back to work.
Yet they were very uncertain. They had no official notification to go back to work, they told a Kilkenny People reporter.
Unemployment assistance has kept the miners going since the mine work ceased, but in two weeks time their only financial source will be dried up. There will be no more assistance.
It is then that the mines will be badly needed.

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