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Community in shock after Boston Marathon bombings

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The effects of the bombings at last Monday’s marathon and the events that followed throughout the week have left the city in shock. The effect was also felt throughout the Irish community having such a large population in Boston.

The Irish Consulate is located a block away from where the attacks took place. Michael Lonergan (Irish Consul) was in his office on Boylston St when the first bomb went off at 2.50pm and felt the building shake. He described the scenes as chaotic with what should have been a fun day for families turning into a horrible nightmare. Businesses in the area felt the brunt of the blasts, Irish owned Lir and Solas on Boylston street also witnessed the horrors first hand.

Members of the Irish dancing community are in mourning for the Richard family in Dorchester. As widely publicized by world media, the family lost their son Martin (8) in Monday’s attack. His little sister Jane (7) who was an avid Irish dancer at the Clifden Academy, lost a leg in the attacks.

“She is just a beautiful little girl. We taught her since she was a baby, pointing her little toe,” a tearful Eileen Dillon Dinn, owner of the Clifden Academy, told the Irish Voice.

Speaking about the atrocities, Fr John McCarthy of the IPC told us “It has totally shocked and horrified the Irish community and I think it’s difficult to comprehend what it was like to be an innocent by stander and be caught up in something like this. Our hearts go out to the families and victims of this atrocity and hope that the people who did this evil act will be brought to justice.”

In the early hours of Friday morning, the authorities were hunting down the suspects in Watertown in the west of the city. John Donohue (42) was tending his bar on Bigelow Avenue when police were pouring into the street just a few hundred yards away. Donohue rushed outside and saw a solid blue line of cops and cruisers with FBI, State Police, Boston Police and SWAT teams pour into the street.

“We heard the gunshots 20 to 30 in a row and then all of a sudden two large explosions and more gunshots and then a very large explosion.” He estimated there was close to 1,000 cops on the scene.

There was huge interest from the Irish media in the attacks with Newstalk’s George Hook broadcasting live in the city. Other media present included RTE, Irish Daily Mail.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny spoke with Governor Deval Patrick on Wednesday and President Michael D. Higgins has written a letter to Mayor Thomas Menino, to offer their condolences with the people of Boston.

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