WATCH Wreath laying ceremony marks Portlaoise man's remarkable aviation feat

Conor Ganly


Conor Ganly


Local Irish UN Vets and members of the Irish Air Corps stood to attention in Portlaoise this weekend when wreaths were laid to honour the achievement of one of Portlaoise's most famous sons and his German brothers in flight.

The ceremony at Laois County Hall was part of a weekend of celebrations to mark the 90th anniversary of the historic transatlantic flight by local man Colonel James Fitzmaurice.

The laying of wreaths prceded a fly-past by members of the Irish Historic Flight Foundation was led by the historic “chipmunk” aircraft. 

April 12, 1928 marked the day when the first east-west transatlantic flight took off from Ireland. The Bremen's flight began at  Baldonnell Aerodrome outside Dublin with a crew of three: Col Fitzmaurice, Captain Hermann Köhl and Baron Von Huenefeld.

Thirty-six hours later the world changed as they landed on Greenly Island, Canada.