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D-Day commemorations in Mid and East Antrim

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Mid and East Antrim Borough Council will pay tribute to those who played their part in the D-Day landings with seven events taking place next week across the Borough marking the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

 

Commemorations will commence on 5 June at Ballycarry – birthplace of one of the planners of the Landings – General Sir James Stuart Steele, who was also the man who signed the Mobilization Order which took the nation to war in 1939. The village primary school and community group will be participating in an event at the amenity green at 9.30am which is also open to the public.

 

On 6 June at 9.15am ‘Paddy the Pigeon’ who was born and trained in Carnlough and loaned to the RAF during the war, will be remembered.  Paddy was the first pigeon to bring back a message to an RAF base in England following the landings and he was awarded the Dickin Medal – the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross.

 

Paddy returned safely from the war and lived the rest of his life in the village. His memorial plaque at Carnlough Harbour will be the focus of the commemoration which will include the two village primary schools and community representatives.

 

Also taking place on 6 June 2024 will be:

 

•             Larne War Memorial Gardens at 6.45pm – Civic service and wreath laying at Larne War Memorial Gardens highlighting the role Larne and her seafarers played in the Normandy Landings. Local clergy will conduct the service.

•             The Braid Ballymena at 7.30pm – Concert in the Atrium of the Braid with Kellswater Flute Band, the Swing Gals and piper Lee Hanna. This will be followed by the lighting of the Normandy 80 beacon at 9.15pm.

•             McNeill Theatre Larne at 7.45pm – Concert with Magheramorne Silver Band, Zolene and the ALS Band and piper Trevor Hassin, whose father landed at Normandy. Followed by procession from Royal British Legion to Chaine Memorial Road for lighting of a beacon after 9pm.

•             Carrick Town Hall at 8pm – Concert with Third Carrick Old Boys Silver Band, singer Lisa Dawson and piper John Fittis, followed by A walk to the Normandy 80 beacon at the war memorial, to be lit at 9.15pm 

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