On the blood-red beaches of Normandy in June 1944…

Carnlough harbour...home of a hero?
Carnlough harbour…home of a hero?

A hero emerged from the mist towards the White cliffs of England. The Nazi falcons missed out on their enemy prey as this unlikely hero brought news from the front.

The fact that he survived the assault on the beaches is one thing, but to conquer the weather, a distance of 230 miles, and Hitlers feathered assassins in record time…probably deserves a medal!

This is the true story of ‘Paddy’ the pigeon from Carnlough, Co.Antrim in Northern Ireland. Awarded the Dickin Medal, the equivalent of the animal Victoria cross, for the quickest recorded time for a message from Normandy.

An old RAF Dakota DC3 flies low over our heads in Belfast.
An old RAF Dakota DC3 flies low over our heads in Belfast.

The only Irish animal to be awarded such a thing. For the record, he did it in 4hrs and 50 mins. The fastest time recorded.

I discovered this little bit of Irish involvement in the war effort as I was taking a photo of Carnlough harbour Co.Antrim last year. There was a plaque on the wall celebrating the success of Paddy the pigeon, born and trained in Carnlough, Northern Ireland.

You just never know what you come across when going for a walk in the rain in Ireland!