Thunder of military tattoo to rumble in skies over Listowel

EVEN the skies over Listowel will resound to the rumble of war this weekend as a squadron of military aircraft prepares to streak across the skies in a flyover as part of the Military Tattoo Festival which is now bigger and better than ever.

Thousands of feet below, Allied and Axis forces will face each other in the Square in a battle for Listowel over Saturday and Sunday, May 3 and 4, bringing the town to explosive life in what is fast becoming one of the favourite events in the town calendar.

Organised by a committee of local history enthusiasts to attract people to Listowel for the May Bank Holiday weekend, the festival has fast become one of the country's biggest military festivals. Now in its third year, the Tattoo is bigger than ever with all eyes turning to the skies ahead of the much-anticipated flyover.

Meanwhile, the town park is also set to come to life this year with war games and a display of remote-controlled war planes on Saturday. A Living History Park will also run in the Square over both days, featuring military displays from different eras and 'real-life' Vikings, Roman Centurions and American Civil War soldiers.

And a trio of World War II-era singers, The Bombshell Belles, are back from the UK for another big hanger dance - by popular demand! They were a smash-hit in the Arms Hotel last year and the venue is delighted to host them once again this Sunday night as they perform some of the best-known hits from the period by Glenn Miller, The Andrew Sisters and many more.

"We are bringing the past to the present in a way that all the family can participate and enjoy some military history," PRO of the organising committee Denis Carroll said.

Organisers are perhaps most excited about the arrival of one guest in particular - D-Day veteran Glen Foy. Mr Foy landed on Omaha Beach on June 8, 1944, during the D-Day offensive and he will be raising the Irish flag during a wreath-laying ceremony that's taking place at the same time as the flyover on Saturday, May 3, from 4pm.

Diplomats from seven embassies will be taking part in the ceremony which is being held to commemorate the thousands of Irish men who fought in wars across the globe over the centuries.