independent

Tuesday 18 December 2018

Volunteers restore wartime 'EIRE' sign on Bray Head

The EIRE sign on Bray head
The EIRE sign on Bray head

The restoration process has begun on a recently uncovered EIRE sign on Bray head, dating back to World War II.

The huge granite stone letters forming the world 'EIRE' have been cleaned down by local volunteers. All traces of July's Bray Head gorse fire have been removed, and the stone letters restored to their original glory.

The restoration project came about, when local man, Aidan O'Toole, thought he should get a group together to restore it. He felt that it was just left sitting there to dilapidate after the initial hype of being found in early August of this year.

The marking was uncovered after a massive wildfire scorched Bray Head. The garda air support unit released photos revealing the more than 70-year-old relic.

Aidan approached another local man Declan Carroll, MD at SIKA Ireland, who kindly supplied all of the SikaGard paint which is highly weather resistant and was perfect for the job.

Declan was also keen to help out with the restoration, Two other prominent Greystones locals Micheal Larkin, owner of local business Pizza Shack, and well-known Greystones historian, Declan Hogan, then expressed their interest.

The group of four spend the best part of a week cleaning the rocks back and removing and cutting gorse roots around the rocks.

Last Saturday morning, they started to apply the all-weather paint, and they hope to preserve the historic sign for generations to come.

Members of the local defence forces created the sign between 1942 and 1943 as navigational signs for pilots flying bomber planes over neutral Ireland.

Each letter is about 30 feet long, made from large stones laid in four foot wide lines.

The men kept them whitewashed so they would stand out clearly.

The team of volunteers will continue working on it over the next few weekends to get the rectangular surround and number 8 above it, completely restored. If you would like to express your interest in helping, contact Aidan at hello@neat.ie

Bray People

News