Documentary focuses on pivotal role played by Kerry woman in D-Day

Maureen Sweeney née Flavin pictured with her late husband Ted. She took barometer readings and collated weather reports by Ted who was the lighthouse keeper at Blacksod, Co Mayo. The weather report they took on June 3rd, 1944 - Maureen's 21st birthday - influenced General Eisenhower's decision to launch D-Day three days later. Thank you to Fergus Sweeney for the photograph.

The pivotal role played by a Kerry woman in the D-Day landings will be the focus of a television documentary this evening.

Maureen Sweeney from Knockanure was 21 in 1944 when she compiled weather reports at Blacksod weather station in Co Mayo.

The success of the D-Day landings depended on good weather.

The event, which was a major turning point in the Second World War, had been scheduled for the previous day but due to a storm forecasted by Maureen it was delayed by Allied leader General Eisenhower to June 6th and 7th.

Maureen’s son Gerry explains how the Kerry woman ended up in Mayo:


It was not until 20 years later that Maureen Sweeney and her family realised how important her weather report was.

The 96-year-old told her story as part of a documentary called Storm Front in Mayo, which will be broadcast on RTE One tonight at 10.15: