A mine came ashore at Ballymanus and a crowd gathered to watch it. As the mine came closer to the shore it is understood that some of the people present tried to throw a rope around it. Although the mine had been spotted earlier that day and reported to the gardaí at around 6.45pm. it did not explode until 10pm.
Nineteen men and boys, aged between 14 and 33, who lived in Ballymanus near Kincasslagh, were killed by the blast. It was always thought locally that the tragedy could have been prevented had the local authorities followed procedures relating to the clearance of mines. While a number of surviving relatives persist in seeking an apology from the state, archive material has emerged showing that prominent locals and senior government figures combined to ensure that the full facts of the incident would never emerge.