Wex­ford’s de­fence forces vet­er­ans are hon­oured

Wexford People - - NEWS - By BREN­DAN KEANE

VET­ER­ANS OF the de­fence forces, from Wex­ford, were hon­oured re­cently at a spe­cial cer­e­mony in the town.

The event took place in the Faythe fol­low­ing mass in Rowe Street Church.

Me­mo­rial wreaths were laid by Min­is­ter Paul Ke­hoe, Cathaoir­leach of Wex­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil, Cllr Jim Moore, and Pa­rades Of­fi­cer with the Or­gan­i­sa­tion of Na­tional Ex-Ser­vice Per­son­nel (ONE), Larry Shan­non. There were also other mem­bers of the or­gan­i­sa­tion in at­ten­dance at the event.

Min­is­ter Ke­hoe said the cer­e­mony was par­tic­u­larly note­wor­thy as this year marks the 60th an­niver­sary of Ire­land’s first par­tic­i­pa­tion on UN peace­keep­ing mis­sions and be­cause of that the over­all role played by Ire­land’s vet­er­ans is the sub­ject of much at­ten­tion.

‘For 60 years now, the men and women of the Ir­ish De­fence Forces have con­trib­uted to the cause of peace all around the world in places like Le­banon, the Congo, the Golan Heights, Chad, Liberia, East Ti­mor and Syria,’ said Min­is­ter Ke­hoe.

‘On each of our over­seas mis­sions, mem­bers of our De­fence Forces have served - and con­tinue to serve – with both hon­our and dis­tinc­tion,’ he added.

Wex­ford man and founder of the Amer­i­can navy, Com­modore John Barry, was also re­mem­bered dur­ing the cer­e­mony and Min­is­ter Ke­hoe re­minded every­one in at­ten­dance that the Wex­ford branch of ONE is named af­ter the iconic navy of­fi­cer.

He also spoke of an up­com­ing me­mo­rial event aimed specif­i­cally at cel­e­brat­ing Com­modore Barry: ‘It is only fit­ting that Com­modore Barry will be re­mem­bered as part of a me­mo­rial due to be held in Cres­cent Quay on the evening of June 24.’

Min­is­ter Ke­hoe said the cer­e­mony was fit­ting as Ire­land’s navy had been in­volved in some dra­matic res­cue mis­sions in re­cent years.

‘Given Com­modore Barry’s ser­vice to the navy I should men­tion the great work of our Naval Ser­vice over the past few years in res­cu­ing mi­grants and tak­ing part in se­cu­rity tasks in the Mediter­ranean Sea,’ he said.

The Ir­ish navy was in­volved in Op­er­a­tion Pon­tus and more re­cently, Op­er­a­tion Sophia, as part of its role in the Mediter­ranean.

‘Our con­tin­ued par­tic­i­pa­tion in peace­keep­ing op­er­a­tions has made friends for Ire­land around the world while also pro­mot­ing a pos­i­tive im­age of the coun­try,’ said Min­is­ter Ke­hoe.

With re­gard to the forth­com­ing com­mem­o­ra­tion he said it will pro­vide an op­por­tu­nity to re­mem­ber the Ir­ish de­fence forces mem­bers who died in the course of their duty: ‘June 24 will al­low us to re­flect and re­mem­ber the 86 men and women of the De­fence Forces who went over­seas to pro­mote peace, but sadly never came home.’

ONE Wreath Lay­ing. Af­ter 12 Mass on Sun­day in (Rowe Street) there were wreaths layed by Paul Ke­hoe Min­is­ter for State, Cllr Jim Moore Mayor of Wex­ford and Larry Shan­non Pa­rades Of­fi­cer ONE at the stone mon­u­ment in the Faythe.

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