Football fan pays tribute to Irish Horse officer

Paul Duffin lays a poppy cross at the grave of Major William Muir MacKean.
Paul Duffin lays a poppy cross at the grave of Major William Muir MacKean.

A Larne man who lost his life in Italy during the Second World War was remembered last week by a local soccer fan.

Paul Duffin, a member of LOL 22, was in Italy for the San Marino football match at the weekend.

But Paul was also aware before he went that Major William Muir MacKean, the son of prominent local ship-owner and businessman C. L. MacKean, was one of the 1930 Allied troops buried at Coriano Ridge War Memorial cemetery.

And he determined to visit the grave and lay a poppy cross in honour of the North Irish Horse officer.

Paul, a keen local historian, has considerable detail on C. L. MacKean, including his ownership of the SS Roma, one of the vessels used in the Larne gun-running in April 1914.

The local man visited the cemetery on Saturday as he prepared to return home from the match. He said he felt privileged at being able to pay tribute to the local soldier.

Needless to say, Paul was also delighted at the 3-0 victory for Northern Ireland, which keeps them on track to secure second place in their World Cup qualifying group.