I couldn’t let today go without posting this picture of Blacksod lighthouse and coastguard station that I took while I was in Mayo. Today, Maureen Sweeney, a 98 year old woman living in Mayo, received a special US House of Representatives honour for her role in changing the course of the second world war while working at Blacksod Lighthouse.
Maureen, a retired post mistress, was the wife of Ted Sweeney, lighthouse keeper at Blacksod. On June 3rd, 1944, Maureen, who was taking temperature and pressure readings at Blacksod weather station, spotted a change in pressure. She subsequently forecast a severe Atlantic storm. Her forecast, relayed to London, resulted in General Dwight D Eisenhower delaying his invasion of Normandy by a day. D-Day took place on June 6th rather than the originally intended June 5th. The rest is history.
A plaque on the wall of Blacksod Lighthouse commemorates the D-Day weather forecast, and now Maureen Sweeney’s accomplishments will be noted in the US Library of Congress.
An RTE documentary ‘Storm Front in Mayo’ televised in 2019 detailed the events of June 1944 at Blacksod Station and is available on the RTE Player