Dalkey residents working to restore World War 2 ‘Eire’ sign

by Gary Ibbotson

Dalkey Tidy Towns (DTT) have announced that their renovation project on the World War II ‘Eire’ sign is due to be completed on April 21, Easter Sunday.

The sign, which was installed during the second world war, can be seen from the sky.

It was used as a warning to German pilots, letting them know that they were flying over a neutral county and not then-enemy United Kingdom.

Overall, 82 of these signs were constructed around the island, largely along the coast or near seaside towns. After decades of fading and being hidden by overgrowing shrubbery, work on renovating the sign began late last year by DTT.

The renovation works were the feature of an expose by RTE’s Nationwide and project received national attention while efforts to recondition the historical symbol continued.

“With over 100 tons of stones excavated, cleaned and replaced, this is quite a sight,” says Des Kennedy-Burke of DTT.

“We just excavated and cleaned all the stones. It is the actual original sign,” he says.

A picnic bench was right in the middle of the letter “R” – we’re now restoring it and placing nearby.”

This past week the DTT revealed that the majority of the work on the four letters have been completed and all that has to be done is to apply the final coat of white paint.

“Following five months of heavy excavations and yesterday’s wheelbarrowing of no less than four tonnes of Roadstone’s Flo Mix to the site, all EIRE’s four letters are finished,” says Kennedy-Burke.

“Now we must wait for the Flo Mix to set so that the WW2 white paint can be applied in time for Easter.

“Now we are praying for rain to help the mixture to set and cure. Thank you so much to all our volunteers who have created something very special.”

Local residents have been supporting the project from the outset with many praising the work of the volunteers on social media.

“So fantastic and heart-warming to see so many volunteers. Wonderful. Thank you all so much. We really appreciate all your hard work,” says Marge O’Farrell Bolten.

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