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Hot summer gorse fire reveals WW2 sign

A gorse fire in early August has revealed a huge sign made from rocks after it lay hidden from view for more than 70 years.

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The stone sign on Bray’s Head near Dublin was revealed following a fire

An Irish Air Corp helicopter was flying over cliffs surveying the damage caused by a massive gorse fire at Bray’s Head just south of Dublin when they spotted the sign saying Éire. The Irish name for Ireland was written in hundreds of tonnes of white washed stones on headlands around the country to warn both the Luftwaffe and Allied Air Command they were flying over a neutral country during World War 2.

With the vegetation burnt off, the letters for Éire were revealed although the ‘e’ was slightly blackened by the fire. In some parts of Ireland, such as Malin Head in County Donegal, conservation groups have restored the stone signs as a reminder of the country’s 20th century heritage. Whether that will happen at Bray’s Head is yet to be seen.

The story has prompted much discussion on the internet and in the media over Ireland’s decision to remain neutral

The story has prompted much discussion on the internet and in the media over Ireland’s decision to remain neutral during the 1939 to 1945 global conflict, with some suggesting it was a mistake not joining in the fight against the Nazis. However, several other European countries remained neutral and Ireland did allow thousands of its citizens to join the British and Allied armed forces at the time. Dublin was bombed by accident by the Luftwaffe revealing the need for the signs. The Germans apologised to the Irish Government saying it was a mistake.

Dublin was bombed by the Luftwaffe in World War 2 by mistake

Should all long lost signs be restored as part of our heritage such as finger signposts? Email your views to Harry@linkpublishing.co.uk or call me on 0117 9805 040. Or react to the story on Twitter and have your say.

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