Owner was determined to reopen after bomb

Clubsound called it a day in Northern Ireland soon after the Abercorn bomb.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 4th March 2022, 8:01 am
Updated Friday, 4th March 2022, 8:06 am

George said: “Shortly after that, after a few more encounters with the Troubles with my family, we decided to pack up. We went to England, and then on to South Africa.

“We were looking for the promised land. They were crying out for English speaking acts in the holiday resorts like Durban. When we arrived we walked right into the middle of apartheid – we were going from one religious conflict into a race conflict.

“It was a bad year. My young son nearly died of typhoid. My father died that year and I only got home an hour before the funeral.

Trevor Kelly, Abercorn owner Dermot O'Donnell and George George

“The bomb was the focal point, that’s what started it. I’ll never forget it.”

After the Abercorn bomb, owner Dermot O’Donnell, now deceased, was determined to reopen.

George said: “He was a great wee man, a great character, as all the bar and cabaret owners were.

“It happened on the Saturday, he wanted to open again on the Monday. His intention was he wasn’t going to be beaten. I said, ‘Dermot, you have to think of the people who died and were injured’.

“He did get it all repaired and opened up about two or three weeks after that but it was never the same.”

Of the Abercorn bomb, George said: “It was one of the changes in my life that made me think more about my family – that this was going to be serious, these guys meant business.

“Anybody that would have had the heart to do that would have had the heart to do anything.”