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GNR(I) memorial.

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One of the biggest tragedies in the GNRi history, and one that seems to be missed from many books. In 1950 five GNRi permanent way men were killed at Omagh after stepping into the path of an incoming Derry train in heavy fog. These cuttings were given to me last  week by Leo Flanagan, who's father Charlie was one of the five killed. Leo was just six months old when he lost his father. 

 

 

Omagh.jpg

omagh2.jpg

Edited by GNRi1959

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A very sad set of circumstances for a local community back then. Post war medicine in 1950 would have been something medieval by comparison with today. It was interesting to read of loss of life through childhood burns, road traffic accidents, drownings and level crossing accidents. Were there any arrangements that would have helped protect the gang  back then? They were obviously working on an active road in poor visibility without so much as a red flag lamp or signal to protect them. Was the engine required to sound it whistle on approach since they were in a station or was that even required at LCs at that time?

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Leo Flanagan told me his dad was the ganger and on the morning of the tragedy he was told that someone important was visiting the station and he was instructed to make sure the lines were spotless. 

After this incident a whistle was sounded at either end of the station from the signal cabins in heavy fog as trains approached.

As a clarinet player with St.Eugenes Brass and Reed Band, my dad remembers that they led the five coffins to the cemetery playing the death march.

 

 

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