A Nazi Lands In Ballina


From top: Mayo-bound German parachutist?l The Evening Herald, November 28, 1945

Or did he?

Forgotten Irish Tricksters‘ is a series by historical blogger Sibling of Daedalus exploring the absolute chancers that brought acting the maggot to an artform but are now barely remembered.

Number 2:  Maureen Corrigan and Charlotte Brownlee.

Sibling of Daedalus writes:

Throughout the Battle of the Atlantic, the bodies of dead German airmen washed up with regularity onto the rocks of the coasts of the west of Ireland.

Occasionally it was rumoured that, like the sailors of the Spanish Armada, some of them survived, hidden in remote cabins, awaiting a more formal invasion by their countrymen.

No one was entirely surprised, therefore, when, in 1944, two teenage girls, Maureen Corrigan and Charlotte Brownlee, reported the presence of foreign parachutists in the Ballina area.

But, after an apparently thorough search by army and Gardai failed to uncover any trace of foreign men, the girls were charged, convicted and sentenced to several months for wasting official time and general trickery.

According to the judge hearing the case, Corrigan and Brownlee were thoroughly bad, their actions prompted by exhibitionism, the wish for their photographs to appear in the papers, and the desire to be interviewed at length by high-ranking army officers.

However, the following year, Sergeant Michael Cavanagh, a Mayo-born soldier in the American Army, disclosed to the Evening Herald the existence of Nazi documents designating North Mayo as a leading airfield base in the event of an invasion of Ireland.

Nothing has been heard of the girls since their conviction and sentence.

High-level trickers or lowly victims of a Churchill-deValera cover-up?

YOU decide.

Previously: Forgotten Irish Tricksters: Mary Kate Hodges

Pic: Frj2

16 thoughts on “A Nazi Lands In Ballina

  1. Mary Jane

    Great article Sibling. It’s often forgotten that the Battle of the Atlantic was a near run thing, and was very nearly lost. As for the tricksters I hope they didn’t end up in a Reformatory run by psychotic child abusers.

  2. andy moore

    Many’s a dirtbird resided amongst us just think of Lord Haw Haw & many asides !!

  3. It Won't Stand Up In Court

    Wasting Official Time?

    General Trickery?

    Were these actually indictable offences Sibling?

    1. Sibling of Daedalus

      It was a Special Court established under Emergency Powers legislation in force in Ireland during WW2 and the actual offence was one under the same legislation (repealed after the Emergency ended) of making false and misleading statements to Gardai and others. During the Emergency all sorts of things Irish people normally enjoyed, such as general trickery and eating sausages with more than a 5% pork content, became criminal offences. A risky time for trickers all over the country!

  4. Truth in the News

    German,British and US aerial photography and mapping was quite extensively
    carried out to identify strategic site’s including airport sites, the question is what
    became of all the documentation, while some of the German material was lost
    due to bombing, what happened to the British and US archive, including what
    they captured from the Germans.

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