Soldiers returned to
Clonmel’s Kickham Barracks last weekend, almost three years to the day since its
The occasion was a remembrance day service to honour all those who lost their lives while serving with the 12th and 13th Battalions of the Irish army and the Royal Irish Regiment, which were all based at the barracks.
“The day was a great success”, says Paddy Hackett of the local, Post 24 branch of the Irish United Nations Veterans Association (IUNVA), which organised the event.
“We had a massive attendance of a few hundred people and people were delighted that their deceased relatives hadn’t been forgotten”, he said.
As well as IUNVA veterans the attendance included representatives of the Irish army, as well as the ONE (Organisation of National Ex-Servicemen and Women), the Irish Legion, British Legion and the Royal Irish Regiment from Northern Ireland. Michael Fitzgerald, chairman of Tipperary County Council was present, as were local councillors.
A poignant wreath-laying ceremony, with Banna Chluain Meala sounding the Last Post, was a highlight of the day and an ecumenical blessing was conducted by Fr. Michael Hegarty, parish priest of St. Oliver’s and Canon Barbara Fryday, Church of Ireland.
A wolfhound from the Irish Wolfhounds Society made an appearance while the Civil Defence were also present.
Following the service a parade, led by Banna Chluain Meala, marched to the IUNVA headquarters at the bus/railway station, where there was a display of military memorabilia and refreshments were served.
Paddy Hackett thanked everybody who contributed to the success of the event in any way, including the sponsors.
The people of Clonmel bade farewell to the soldiers of Kickham Barracks on March 26 2012 when they paraded through the town to mark the end of 350 years of military presence in the town.