Memorial stone for US airmen gets backing

ROOM WITH A VIEW. Eamon McBride, pictured looking out at the view from his front room which he feels will be blighted with more windmills.INBM21-12 014SC.
ROOM WITH A VIEW. Eamon McBride, pictured looking out at the view from his front room which he feels will be blighted with more windmills.INBM21-12 014SC.

MOYLE Council has wholeheartedly backed plans to work with a group seeking to get a Memorial Stone erected in the Antrim Hills at Slieveanorra near Loughgiel in tribute to eight American airmen who died in a WW2 plane crash.

Cllr Joan Baird spoke passionately in support of the plan when a delegation came to a Council meeting in Ballycastle.

She said it is important that the American people know that their efforts all those years ago will not be forgotten.

Cllr Baird said the scheme is not only very important to the local area but to Ireland and the United States.

She added: “We owe the people of the United States a huge debt for coming to our aid against facism.”

She said there are many unrecognised crash sites and added: “They gave their lives for our freedom”.

Cllr Randal McDonnell said for some reason the aircrash at Orra wasn’t as well-known as some others in the Glens during the war and said it is important that any Memorial is accessible and visible to a road in the area.

Council Chairperson, Cllr Cara McShane, said that somewhere down the line there should be an exhibition put on about the history of the crash.

A member of the delegation - Eamonn McBride - had brought many pieces of correspondence to the meeting.

Cllr Colum Thompson said that not only is it the right thing to do to commemorate the lives of the people who died but he said the Memorial could also attract visitors to the area.

And he said the history of the crash is now being brought to the people of the area, particularly the young.

Cllr Padraig McShane said the Memorial should be sited on the Moyle Way to be of significant benefit.

Barbara Laverty from the memorial group said: “We are passionate about this.”

The meeting heard the Memorial could possibly become part of a Heritage Trail.

The Council unanimously agreed to look into the matter and work with the group.

Councillor McDonnell said the isolated nature of Orra meant there could be some concerns about vandalism but he commended the whole process of getting the Memorial and wanted to give every support.