Anthony O’Reilly grew up in an old schoolhouse which had been renovated by his father and where he and his family still live. His father Joseph worked for Irish Shoe Supplies in Belturbet. Anthony and Marie married and lived for a short time in Scotland, before returning home in 1971. On the evening of 28 December 1972, Anthony and his sister, Frances, who was pregnant with twins, drove to Belturbet to bring Frances home, and he and his sister Geraldine went to a local chip shop. Geraldine entered the shop to buy chips and at that moment a bomb exploded, killing her and a sixteen year old boy named Patrick Stanley. Anthony miraculously escaped serious injury and had later to endure the very difficult task of identifying his young sister. Their parents found it impossible to speak about the tragedy within the family and Anthony somehow blamed himself always for his sister’s death. He and his wife Marie were anxious that there be a memorial to Geraldine, and they are grateful to Belturbet Co. Councillor John Scott, who became the driving force for the installation of Geraldine’s monument which now stands in Belturbet.
This collection, carried out by Irish Life and Lore on behalf of Cavan County Library Service, is funded by the EU Special EU Programmes Body Peace IV fund under the objective to build positive relations with people from different backgrounds and communities to support peace and reconciliation.
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