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1945 Remembered

This year we remember the summer of 1945 when Northern Ireland, in common with other parts of the UK, celebrated the surrender of the Nazi and Japanese regimes and the formal ending of the Second World War.

In Northern Ireland with its historic divisions, both communities celebrated – though with different emphases. For all the North’s citizens the German capitulation marked the end of six terrible years of war, loss and devastation. It was a period when the very future of civilization and freedom was at stake.

During the war years, Northern Ireland’s experience differed from that of England and Southern Ireland (Eire) which remained neutral under De Valera. In Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal, the war was known as ‘The Emergency’ while the partitioned village of Pettigo had two time-zones!

This special historical talk will explore the impact of the war on this region – from its politics and government to heavy industry and its key role in the Allied war effort. In particular, it will consider how such issues as the absence of Conscription, the Belfast ‘Blitz’, the dramatic ‘invasion’ of US troops, Evacuation, German prisoners-of-war and de Valera’s ‘benevolent neutrality’ formed the essential backdrop to VE Day 1945.

It will focus on the unique experience of Fermanagh and the Omagh area including the strategic importance of Castle Archdale; the American base in Omagh; the secret ‘Donegal Corridor’ linking Lough Erne to the Atlantic; the role of Sir Basil Brooke (Fermanagh landlord and Stormont Prime Minister); the mysterious internment of veteran Fermanagh Nationalist MP, Cahir Healy and the cross-community relief at the ending of the conflict 75 years ago.

This talk is part funded by the NI Executive through their ‘Together Building a United Community’ Strategy

To register for this free presentation please email: or telephone 0300 303 177