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Antrim and Newtownabbey Commemorate 80th Anniversary of D-Day with Beacon Lighting

On the evening of Thursday 6 June, the newly appointed Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Neil Kelly and Councillor Paul Dunlop BEM, were joined by Deputy Lord Lieutenants the Hon. Shane O'Neill DL and Mrs. Pauline Shields, OBE, DL, at Antrim Castle Gardens and Mossley Mill. Together, they led a public service to light a beacon at each location in commemoration of the 80th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings

D-Day holds significant importance in Northern Ireland, as the region played a unique role in the landings. The Royal Ulster Rifles (RUR) was the only British regiment to deploy its full strength of two battalions on D-Day, marking a notable contribution and sacrifice in the Normandy campaign.

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Neil Kelly commented,

"Let us never take for granted the freedom we cherish. Today, we remember the bravery of those who fought for it, and the incredible planning that led to victory. Their stories will inspire us for generations to come."

The D-Day beacon lighting comes ahead of an exciting and historical, free family fun day on Saturday 8 June, at Sentry Hill, Newtownabbey, that will include music of the 40s and 50s playing on the lawn, fascinating WWII memorabilia and a ‘living library’ made up of real war veterans and ex-military personnel who will be there to tell their real life experiences and stories. There will also be a bubble plane and kite making for children to enjoy. Bring a picnic blanket and soak up the atmosphere from 12pm to 4pm.

This event comes just weeks before the D-Day themed Armed Forces Day at Jordanstown Loughshore Park on Saturday 22 June that will feature a mini air show from The Red Arrows, RAF Tutor and the iconic Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Lancaster.