Castle Gardens was the site of a dignified beacon lighting ceremony as Lisburn joined with nations across the world to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day. There were fitting performances from the renowned Band of the Royal Irish Regiment, Beechlawn School, Friends School, and other talented acts. The Mayor, Cllr Andrew Gowan, was particularly honoured to welcome the families of local D-Day veterans, providing a poignant connection to the past and those who served so valiantly.

Earlier in the day, the council's D-Day 80 programme featured a series of heartfelt commemorations, educational workshops, and social gatherings across Lisburn and Castlereagh. As dusk approached, Lagan Valley Island, Castle Gardens, and Union Bridge were bathed in red light as a powerful tribute to the courage and sacrifice of those involved in the D-Day landings.

Mayor, Cllr Andrew Gowan, reflected on the day’s proceedings: "Tonight, we join with nations across the world to honour the extraordinary bravery and sacrifice of those who took part in the D-Day landings 80 years ago. Their legacy is one of hope, freedom and resilience, and it is our privilege to remember and celebrate their heroism here in Lisburn. 

This evening's ceremony was a fitting tribute to the enduring spirit of those who served. I want to extend my deepest gratitude to the families of our veterans, some of whom are with us this evening. Your participation makes today so much more meaningful.

The D-Day 80 programme has been a deeply moving journey, filled with moments of reflection. It was wonderful to see so many young people at our outdoor museum workshops, learning the lessons and legacy of D-Day and keeping it alive for future generations. As we raised the flag of peace and laid wreaths at the War Memorial this morning, we can only imagine the pain of the families whose loved ones never returned. We will remember them.

This event also concludes my term as Mayor of Lisburn and Castlereagh. There have been many highlights and today will stand out as a very special moment for me. I want to thank everyone who has supported me this year – it has been my honour to 
be your Mayor”