In July 2018 the Republic of Ireland was in the grip of an exceptional heatwave and drought, one that sparked wildfires around the country. One of those fires burned moorland at Bray Head in County Wicklow. Firefighters soon brought it under control. But the forgotten WWII artifact that’s been exposed by the blaze astonished observers.
Bray Head is about a 60-minute drive south of Dublin and it lies just to the south of the seaside town of Bray. The headland overlooks the Irish Sea, facing the west coast of England. Its coastal position made it a significant point during WWII aviation, for reasons we’ll come to.
First, we need to take a quick jog through Irish history. After centuries of conflict between Irish nationalists and British invaders and colonists, in 1801 the parliaments of Ireland and the United Kingdom both passed bills that unified the whole of the Irish island with Britain. The Irish parliament was duly abolished.