D-Day 80 Anniversary, 6 June 1944 to 2024

Come to Lisburn to commemorate D-DAY 80 

On Thursday 6th June, Lisburn will host a day of commemorative events to mark the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings, remembering those who sacrificed so much for peace and freedom 80 years ago.

Transport assistance is available for schools and community groups attending the outdoor exhibition and educational workshops in Castle Gardens throughout the day.

Please phone Emma Breadon on 028 9244 7674 or email: emma.breadon@lisburncastlereagh.gov.uk

Programme of events

Please note this is a provisional calendar and further dates and details will be made available closer to the time.

Town Crier

Irish Linen Centre & Lisburn Museum

From the historic balcony of the Irish Linen Centre and Lisburn Museum, the Town Crier will deliver the D-Day 80 Proclamation.

Flag of Peace

Lagan Valley Island

Join the Mayor and Deputy Lord Lieutenant as they raise the D-Day 80 Flag of Peace as part of a nationwide programme.

Royal British Legion Wreath Laying

Lisburn War Memorial

The Royal British Legion is hosting a wreath laying service at Lisburn War Memorial to commemorate D-Day 80. Rev Nicholas Dark will be conducting the service. 

10.30am to 7pm
Outdoor Exhibition and Workshops

Castle Gardens
The Irish Linen Centre and Lisburn Museum will welcome local school and community groups to Castle Gardens to participate in interactive workshops and view exclusive artefacts.

Historical footage screening
Pathé archive footage from WWII will be shown on big screens throughout the day. 

Travelling museum
Step back in time to WWII through this mini exhibition curated from the Lisburn Museum’s archives.

Vicker’s machine gun and costume rail
Snap a selfie with an original Vicker’s machine gun alongside a background of the Hillsborough Road during WWII. Children can also dress up in replica army uniform.

Investigation workshops
Find out who evacuees were, how much tea you were allowed in a week and what air raid precautions were from the museum’s education team.

Craft workshops
Make your own cardboard gas masks and spitfire plans at one of a variety of craft workshops held throughout the day. Workshops will include cutting and sticking so guardians are encouraged to help little hands while they work and learn.

School days during WWII
Sit on original school benches and practise writing from the Vere Foster workbook under the watchful eye of the schoolteacher. And find out what you have to do when your lesson is interrupted by the gas rattle!

Victory point
Once the children have completed their WWII tasks, they can collect a goody bag containing 2ozs of rationed sweets, stickers and activity sheets.

Sensory tent
Our dark den space is a cosy corner for anyone who needs a quiet space with books and fidget toys provided for your use.

WWII Taster Tour (10 minutes long, on the hour)
Join one of Lisburn Museum’s expert guides in a bite-size taster to learn about the significance of Lisburn’s war memorial and the repurposed blast shelter that remains in place in Castle Gardens.

2pm to 4pm
D-Day Themed Tea Dance

Market Square
Everyone is welcome as Market Square will be filled with music and dancing from the 1940s at a D-Day themed Tea Dance.

6.30pm to 9.30pm
D-Day 80 Beacon Lighting Ceremony

Castle Gardens
Entertainment from the Band of the Royal Irish Regiment. Also featuring Lisburn Young Defenders, local schools and more.

The D-Day 80 beacon will be lit at 9.15pm along with beacons across the nation.

Seated tickets are now booked out. However, there’s lots of standing room still available so come along on 6 June to enjoy the entertainment and join with nations across the world as we light the D-Day 80 Beacon.

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Bespoke flowerbeds

A series of specially-designed flowerbeds to commemorate the Normandy landings will be planted up across the Lisburn and Castlereagh area.

D-Day 1944: Wartime Lisburn and the Battle for Normandy

31 May to 1 October 2024 at 2pm
Irish Linen Centre & Lisburn Museum
This new exhibition marks the 80th anniversary of D-Day and highlights the local connections to the Battle for Normandy, as well as life in wartime Lisburn.

For the first time, the museum is displaying the uniform of CSM William J. McCutcheon who glided into France by air. Come and learn about the invasion, Lisburn and the Second World War, and stories of local men who fought on D-Day. 

City centre screening

A screening of original news footage by British Pathé of the Normandy landings will be shown in the city centre.

D-Day 80 Talks

Irish Linen Centre & Lisburn Museum

We are delighted to announce a programme of two talks in May 2024, leading up to the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

‘Lisburn and the Second World War’, by Scott Edgar
Wednesday 22 May, 7pm

Want to find out what life was like in Lisburn during the Second World War? As we near the 80th anniversary of D-Day, this talk discusses the role of Northern Ireland in the war effort and the experience of everyday people – from rations to manufacturing, airfields to the blitz, and American GIs to Dad’s Army!

‘We fought on D-Day: Ulstermen in Normandy’, by Mark Scott
Wednesday 29 May, 7pm

As we approach the 80th anniversary of the invasion of Europe, this talk draws on testimony from Northern Ireland veterans who took part in the D-Day operations. After researching their statements, never before disclosed details are revealed of action, triumph, and tragedy experienced by the men who were there.

Both talks are free and in person, and take place in the museum’s historic Assembly Room.

Find out more and book your place