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World War II pilot remembered in Ratoath

A Polish pilot who died after his Spitfire crashed in Ratoath was remembered in a commemorative ceremony.

The 75th anniversary commemoration was held outside Ratoath Community Centre on Wednesday 23 August in honour of a Polish pilot, Boleslaw Josef Sawiak, who tragically lost his life on Sunday 23 August 1942 when his Spitfire crash landed in Ratoath, following an aerial battle with a German Junker.

It was intended that the commemoration would also reflect the close ties that exist between Ireland and Poland today.

Prayers were offered by Fr Gerry Stuart PP and Fr Janusz Lugowski, chaplain to the Polish community in the Diocese of Meath. The Polish Ambassador, Mr Ryszard Sarkowicz together with local TD and Government Minister Regina Doherty attended and laid a wreath in honour of Flight Officer Sawiak. 

Ratoath Heritage Group began some years ago to record for posterity the tragic incident that befell a young 24-year-old from the city of Przemysl, situated near the Polish border with modern day Ukraine.

An exhibition giving detailed accounts of that fateful day in August 1942 has been open for public viewing for five days commencing last wednesday and anyone with an interest in history and in learning about the day that World War II came to Ratoath are sure to find some of the content fascinating and informative.

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Bishop's House, Dublin Road, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath
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