Hidden World War Two sign revealed by wildfires in Ireland

Irish Air Corps

A World War Two relic has been revealed on scorched ground along the Irish coast after record temperatures sparked wildfires across Europe.

The whitewashed signs spells the word Éire, meaning 'Ireland' in the Irish language, and acted as a navigational message to both Allied and German pilots.

It was spotted at Bray Head, County Wicklow, by the Garda - the Irish police - Air Support Unit, after wildfires burnt the thick gorse covering it.

A spokesperson told Irish broadcaster RTÉ:

The signs themselves are quite common on the west coast but unusual on the east.

The Air Corps helped put the fire out and then the Garda helicopter, which we fly, noticed the sign emerging from the past.

More tha 80 signs were dotted around the Irish coast during WW2 to warn aircraft they were flying over a neutral country.

They also acted as a navigational aid to American bombers crossing over the island.

Michael Kennedy, author of Guarding Neutral Ireland, explained:

The signs were built by the Coast Watching Service by the summer of 1944 to warn "belligerent" aircraft that they were flying over a neutral country.

Up to 150 tons of stone were used in some of the 83 signs dotted around the coast of Ireland.

At the request of the United States air force the number of the nearby lookout post was added, turning the signs into air navigation aids.

This assisted American bomber pilots in navigating across the Atlantic.

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