Renowned Irish Actress Roma Downey opened up to CNN’s Piers Morgan in a recent interview about growing up in Northern Ireland Ireland and surviving two IRA attacks. Downey appeared on Morgan's show with her husband, Mark Burnett.
During the interview, Downey opened up about being shot at while growing up in the North. The incident took place as the 11-year-old Downey stood by her mother’s graveside in a cemetery in Derry.
“Extraordinarily, I was up in the cemetery in Derry city, and I had a red cape on with a fur hood as a little girl, when a gun battle broke out between the IRA and the British Army, and I got caught in the crossfire.”
Speaking about the terrifying ordeal, Downey recalled how she could smell the smouldering of the fur when she got home. The bullet had ripped right through the hood of the coat she was wearing.
“It would not have been unusual for us as children going home from school and having to duck down behind cars and stuff,” she said.
One of the actress's first jobs as a 16-year-old girl in Derry was in a shoe shop. The shop was blown up in an IRA bombing while she worked.
“I was working and it was my very first job as a young teenager, I was 16 years old and I got six pounds for a saturday,” she recalled.
She added, “I was in the shop when they came in wearing ski masks and said ‘It’s a bomb, you have five minutes to get out.’"
The Derry born actress remembers grabbing her coat, as it was so cold and wet outside, and as she stood in the car park with her co-workers the shop blew up and the shoes came down around Downey.
Despite all the pain and suffering that the Northern Ireland troubles caused people, Downey says, “The encouraging thing in this story is that just this past summer, Derry my hometown was the City of Culture ... for all of Europe.
“It’s a brilliant, vibrant and alive society of people living in harmony and if you asked any of us back then if there was a possibility of peace there, I’m sure everybody would have said 'No! It’s not possible.'”
To watch highlights of Roma Downey’s interview click here.