A very special commemoration ceremony was held in Baltinglass last Sunday, November 4, to honour a soldier and a garda with Baltinglass connections.
Private Michael McGuinn from Parkmore in Baltinglass was killed in the Niemba Ambush in the Congo on November 8, 1960. Garda Patrick O’Halloran, a native of Gort, Co. Galway and stationed in Baltinglass was killed in Baltinglass in the line of duty on January 24, 1924.
The joint commemoration ceremony included the An Garda Síochána marching band, representatives of the Defence Forces and An Garda Síochána and members of the families of both men. The Irish flag was at half mast as the unveiling of a memorial stone took place and members of both families laid wreaths. Wicklow County Council dignitaries, including Tommy Cullen and Edward Timmins spoke and the Assistant Garda Commissioner and a representative of the Chief of staff of the Defence Forces told the story of both men. The memorial stone is now a permanent feature in front of the McAlister monument and the bravery of both men are now part of the story of Baltinglass.