It was a great privilege to take part in the Tipperary Remembrance Trust annual remembrance over the last weekend in September.
The Tipperary Remembrance Trust was founded to commemorate Irish men and women who have sacrificed their lives for the cause of freedom and peace across the world. To this end they have reclaimed and restored a portico from the officers Mess and living quarters from the Tipperary Military Barracks, built in the 1870’s. At one time there were up to 10,000 troops stationed in Tipperary Town and the military presence had a big influence on the town.
The weekend kicked off with a most enjoyable dinner at the Aherlow House Hotel, beautifully located in the fabulous Glen of Aherlow,overlooked by the majestic Galtee Mountains. Damian Shiels, author of The Irish in the American Civil War delivered the after-dinner speech on the forgotten Irish who fought and died or were maimed in the shaping of the United States of America that we know today.
Guests of Honour at the dinner /commemoration were
Lt.Col Conor Burke, Irish Defence Forces
General David The O’Morchoe (Ret) C.B . C.B.E., President of the Royal British Legion Republic of Ireland
Sqdn Leader Susie Barnes Defence Attaché New Zealand Defence Forces
Liet. Col. Sean Cosden Defence Attaché U.S.A Defence Forces
Lieut Col. Sean English Defence Attaché United Kingdom Defence Forces
Liet. Col. Jean Trudel Defence Attaché Canadian Defence Forces
Group Capt. Peter Wood, Defence Attaché Australian Defence Forces
Lieut Col. Conor Burke, Irish Defence Forces
Guy Jones Irish Lebanese Cultural Foundation
William Kane Irish U.N Veterans Association
On Sunday morning we gathered at St Mary’s Church in John Street, Tipperary,once the Garrison Church of the town and sadly now in need of maintenance. This Church has a stunning stained glass window, erected to the memory of 3 members of one family who died within months of each other in 1916. Also in this church is a plaque in memory of 39 Abbey Boys – pupils of the local Abbey School – who lost their lives in the First World War.The Rector,Rev. Browen Carling with Fr Dan McCarthy Chaplain to the Defence Forces,conducted a most edifying service in remembrance of Irish soldiers who have died in conflicts, serving with our own or other forces, across the world.
St Bridget’s Pipe Band then led a procession from the Church to the Remembrance Arch ,about 1 km away, for a wreath laying ceremony
The ceremony was very moving, especially of course at the sounding of the Last Post, always an emotional moment,and again when a Lone Piper piped ‘Going Home’ .
It was so good to see the Military Attachees from other countries – many of whom visited Ireland specifically for this ceremony – honour our dead Irish soldiers by laying wreaths.
Mick Haslam, as the ‘face’ of the Tipperary Remembrance Trust has done excellent work in setting up, planning, organizing and implementing these annual commemorations. Huge thanks are due to him for his trojan work. I love these pictures of him at the ceremony, raising the Irish Flag from half-mast. The memory of our countrymen, who have given their lives for peace on this planet,has been in a safe pair of hands.
It was a privilege to have been there.