Daughter of Nigerian IRA victim writes ‘Legacy’ book

Gabrielle and Max Olorunda. Max was killed by an IRA incendiary bomb which detonated prematurely on a train.
Gabrielle and Max Olorunda. Max was killed by an IRA incendiary bomb which detonated prematurely on a train.

The daughter of an African man killed when an IRA bomb blew up prematurely has launched an autobiographical book.

Called “Legacy”, it was unveiled at the The Black Box in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter yesterday by author Jayne Olorunda.

The 34-year-old Belfast woman is the daughter of Max, a Nigerian-born accountant who was killed in the explosion onboard a train at Dunmurry in 1980.

Jayne, whose mother is Northern Irish, was two years old at the time.

She said: “He was on an audit in Ballymena and not being familiar with the town took the train. On his return journey a bomb exploded and killed dad plus two others; one being the bomber, the other a schoolboy.

“Dad came from the other side of the world and hadn’t intended on staying in Belfast but was working towards his chartered accountancy qualification here.

“When that was completed he and my mum planned on leaving Northern Ireland.

“Dad was the first civilian from Africa and only Nigerian to have been murdered here, and as such my family are the only mixed-race victims.”

The book is an effort to deal with what was dubbed “the devastating effects of losing an innocent loved one”.

It tells her own story and that of her mother, and is also billed as asking questions about what is being done to help survivors and victims of attacks throughout Northern Ireland.

“I see no evidence of any tangible help for Northern Ireland victims,” she added. “In my opinion no-one is out there to treat post-traumatic stress, no-one is there to prevent families falling into the abyss that mine fell into.

“Above all no-one is there to help the children of the struggle.”

The book is self-published, and any money after the cost of printing is expected to go back to her and her family.

Hard copies are available to buy on online retailer Amazon and Lulu.com. Digital copies are also available.