70 years today since 19 young people lost their lives in Ballymanus Sea Mine Disaster

Ballymanus Memorial pictured by Kenneth Allen
Ballymanus Memorial pictured by Kenneth Allen

Seventy years have passed since the Ballymanus mine disaster which killed 19 people.

A special mass will be held in the Ballymanus Community Centre tonight at 7 o'clock to mark the anniversary.

19 lives were lost in the incident which occurred in west Donegal on 10th of May 1943.

A mine washed ashore at Ballymanus and a crowd of young people gathered to watch the event - the mine had been spotted earlier and gardai were notified but they failed to seal off the area.

Locals tied a rope around the mine and were trying to move it away from rocks when it exploded at 10pm causing the massive loss of life.

The community was upset at newspaper reports of the time which blamed them and there have been calls for an investigation into the authorities handling of the situation ever since.

In 2011, Deputy Pearse Doherty raised the issue in the Dail backing claims that the state acted with negligence and seeking an apology:

[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/doherty-ballymanus.mp3[/podcast]

Responding on behalf of the Government  Minister Alan Shatter indicated the amount of time that had passed, would make attributing blame difficult:

[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/bally-response.mp3[/podcast]