Fermanagh commemorated the 80th anniversary of D-Day in poignant and reflective events today (Thursday) with further events scheduled for the weekend.

Just after 12am this morning a service marking the 80th anniversary of the historic day was held at Rossory Parish Church, Enniskillen, entitled '85 Days Remembered: Recalling the events of the D-Day Landings’.

This was conducted by the Rector of Rossory, the Revd Stephen McWhirter.

Later at 8am, Gary Wilson read the National D-Day 80 Proclamation accompanied by the Regimental Pipes and Drums of the Royal Dragoon Guards in front of Enniskillen Castle.

This was performed in towns and cities throughout the UK with Enniskillen being the most westerly location.

Gary Wilson reading the proclamation at Enniskillen Castle.Gary Wilson reading the proclamation at Enniskillen Castle. (Image: John McVitty)

Enniskillen Model Primary School and Jones Memorial Primary School were abuzz with activity at their commemorative events which were attended by the Fermanagh Lieutenancy and other dignitaries.

Children got the opportunity to engage with WWII vehicles and learn more about Fermanagh's role in helping train American soldiers for the Normandy landings.

At the Model, Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Chris Heaton-Harris and Joe Kennedy III, US Special Envoy to Northern Ireland were in attendance as pupils from the school showcased their knowledge about the Second World War.

Charlie Webb, a pupil at the school, had the opportunity to interview some of the special guests, including Mr. Kennedy.

Charlie Webb with Joe Kennedy on a WWII motorbike at the Enniskillen Model PS. (John McVitty).

At Jones Memorial, the beaches of Normandy were not far away from the minds of the pupils as they reenacted the storming of the beaches as they marked the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

The pupils were all dressed appropriately in either uniform of clothing of the era, with some showing off their creativity.

Staff were also in on the action and dressed up and played the role of the Axis forces during the Storming of the Beaches. Both sides were armed with water balloons which made for a thrilling battle between the forces.

The pupils commemorated the events of 80 years ago with a series of activities in school including a ration lunch supported by The Big Lunch, Asda, Tesco and Dunnes ; an intergeneration choir performance, a performance of marching tunes such as 'It's a Long Way to Tipperary' and 'Pack Up Your Troubles'.

Chris Heaton-Harris looks at the work of Model pupils in The Impartial Reporter.Chris Heaton-Harris looks at the work of Model pupils in The Impartial Reporter. (Image: John McVitty)

One very entertaining event for all involved was the paper aeroplane contest where pupils threw paper spitfires and hoped theirs would travel the furthest. 

At 6.30pm this evening the bells of St. Macartin's Cathedral will Peal, 'Ringing Out For Peace', commemorating the 80th Anniversary of D-Day followed by a Community Service & Beacon Lighting Ceremony to honour those who fought in Northern France.