It was time to head home, so we drove from Rostrevor to Warrenpoint and Newry, before crossing the border from North to South, shortly after Killeen.
We were driving through the hot bed for the Troubles:
- in 1971, 2 people were killed by Irish Republican Army (IRA) snipers in Killeen
- on June 3, 1975, 3 people shot to death by the IRA
- on December 6, 1975, 2 IRA members died when a land mine went of prematurely
- on August 27, 1979, the Provisional Irish Republican Party ambushed a British Army convoy near Narrow Water Castle in Warrenpoint, killing 18 soldiers, the British Army’s largest loss of life in a single incident.
- on May 20, 1985, 4 Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) members were killed by a remote controlled IRA bomb.
- on April 25, 1987, 2 Protestant civilians were killed by a remote controlled IRA bomb
- on July 23, 1988, 3 Protestant civilians were killed by an IRA land mine attack on their vehicle. It was a case of mistaken identity that killed this family.
- on April 12, 1989, Joanne Reilly was killed in a van bomb attack on Warrenpoint Ulster Constabulary base, because inadequate warning of the attack was given.
- on October 24, 1990, Ranger Cyril Smith, QGM (Catholic from Northern Ireland), and five British soldiers were all killed when an explosives-laden van driven by Patrick Gillespie (who also died), a Catholic civilian employed by the British Army, exploded at the Killeen checkpoint. Gillespie had been forced to drive the van while the IRA held his wife and children hostage
- numerous bomb scares and car bombings occurred in Newry from the 1990s up to 2010.
I do not mind telling you, I experienced a bit of apprehension driving through this area. Given the current Brexit plan, old sentiments are being stirred up again as the possibility of a hard border between North and South is contemplated.
At last, back in Ireland, we headed for Dundalk ….
…and a meal at the Windsor.