South Antrim MP Danny Kinahan has recalled the role of Northern Ireland in the Battle of Britain, often considered a turning point in the Second World War, which raged from July through to the end of October 75 years ago.
Mr Kinahan said: “The 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain is an opportunity for us to reflect on what was perhaps the major turning point of the Second World War and therefore a vital chapter in the history of our nation.”
“Whether it be the defensive role of RAF Squadron 245 at Aldergrove during the battle to the 28 Northern Irish fighter pilots who tragically lost their lives, Northern Ireland played an active role in securing our freedom. Had we lost the Battle of Britain it is very possible England would have been invaded and the rest of the country would have fallen soon after.”
“At this time of reflection I am always reminded of the interesting and colourful stories of characters such as flying ace Brendan “Paddy” Finucane, an Irishman from Dublin that joined the RAF and fought in the Battle of Britain to defeat Nazism. I am also reminded of stories that encapsulate our wonderful sense of humour in difficult times such as that of Belfast pilot Noel Corry, who asked that a red hand of Ulster be painted on his aircraft. His catholic mechanic, however, preferred a shamrock and shillelagh, which Mr Corry flew with, surviving the war and being awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his outstanding service.”
“Anniversaries like this allow us to be thankful for those who have made immense sacrifices in our name whilst also putting current difficulties in perspective.”