Thursday 30 January 2020


The Provisional IRA bombed a pub in south Belfast, killing a 55-year-old civilian and seriously injuring several others.  The car bomb was parked outside the entrance to the Klondyke Bar in the loyalist Sandy Row area.  The pub, built in 1872, was devastated by the explosion and it was a miracle there wasn't more loss of life.  It was Friday night and no warning was given.  Several customers lost limbs and a barmaid lost an eye.

The Klondyke Bar bombing

Two men were jailed in relation to the bombing.  Frank McGreevy spent 17 years in prison for various terrorist offences including the murder of John Smiley, the man who died in the Klondyke bombing.  In 2008 McGreevy was himself murdered.  Beaten to death at his home in west Belfast, the murder was not terror-related, although he was still given a Provo funeral at which Gerry Adams gave a eulogy.  Adams said he had known the bomber since the early 1970s.  McGreevy was 51 at the time of his death, four years younger than Mr Smiley was when he was blown up.  Mr Smiley's daughter later told a newspaper that she had forgiven McGreevy for her father's murder, but felt that the attention given to McGreevy's death detracted from many of those who perished in the Troubles, including her father.