Memo­rial un­veiled to men who died in the line of duty

Bray People - - NEWS -

A MEMO­RIAL stone was un­veiled in Balt­in­glass on Sun­day in hon­our of two men who died in the course of their du­ties with the Gar­daí and De­fence Forces.

The com­mem­o­ra­tion cer­e­mony took place in the square to hon­our Garda Pa­trick O’Hal­lo­ran and Pri­vate Michael McGuinn.

Garda O’Hal­lo­ran was sta­tioned in Balt­in­glass in 1924 when he was shot by raiders at the Na­tional Bank, which is to­day Bank of Ire­land. He was fa­tally wounded as he gave chase to the raiders who shot him at point blank range, just two years af­ter he joined the force.

Pri­vate McGuinn was a na­tive of Park­more in Balt­in­glass and was part of the 33rd In­fantry Bat­tal­ion that was sent on a peace-keep­ing mis­sion with the United Na­tions to the Congo in Au­gust of 1960. On Novem­ber 8, 1960, the pa­trol that Pri­vate McGuinn was part of came to a bridge that had been de­stroyed near Niemba. The pa­trol halted and some of the pa­trol crossed the river to inves- tigate how to progress. It was at this point that they were at­tacked by lo­cal Luba mili­tia and Pri­vate McGuinn was killed along­side nine of his bat­tal­ion, the great­est loss of life of Ir­ish soldiers on UN peace­keep­ing du­ties.

The cer­e­mony was or­gan­ised by Su­per­in­ten­dent Frank Ferry and Sgt Ai­dan McDer­mott from Balt­in­glass Garda Sta­tion; Balt­in­glass Mu­nic­i­pal Dis­trict of­fi­cials Sea­mus O’Hal­lo­ran, Der­mot Gra­ham, Dionne Dixon, and Derek Cullen and Billy Tim­mins who li­aised with the De­fence Forces.

The event was at­tended by rel­a­tives and friends of the de­ceased who laid wreaths, cre­ated by Laura Done­gan Flow­ers, in their mem­o­ries. Also present was the cathaoir­leach of Wick­low County Coun­cil Pat Vance, the coun­cil’s Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Frank Cur­ran, Colonel Bren­dan Daly of the De­fence Forces and As­sis­tant Garda Com­mis­sioner Fin­tan Fan­ning.

Lo­cal coun­cil­lors Ed­ward Tim­mins and Tommy Cullen had the hon­our of un­veil­ing the memo­rial stone which was de­signed by Byrne’s of Aughrim. The De­fence Forces pro­vided a Colour Pa­rade for the cer­e­mony while the Garda Band pro­vided mu­sic.

PHO­TOS BY JOE BYRNE

Bri­die Cur­ran from ONE, Billy Cullen, ex-mem­ber of the De­fence Forces, and for­mer Balt­in­glass garda Sea­mus Kelly lay wreaths at the mon­u­ment in Balt­in­glass.

Cllr Ed­ward Tim­mins and Cllr Tommy Cullen un­veil­ing the mon­u­ment.

Cllrs Vin­cent Blake, Pat Do­ran and Jim Rut­tle.

Billy Tim­mins, Rev Mairt Han­ley and Fr Ger Ah­ern.

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