Minister's tribute to our past military heroes
Past members of the Defence Forces and their families have been honoured for their service, bravery and loyalty in a ceremony as part of Defence Forces Veterans Day.
They gathered at the Curragh Camp in Co Kildare to hear Defence Minister Paul Kehoe acknowledge their past service, both at home and around the world.
"It is an important day to honour all of those who once wore the uniform of our Army, Naval Service and Air Corps, who have always been fundamental to the success of the Irish Defence Forces.
"Today, Irish troops are deployed in UN, EU and Nato-led missions in Africa, Europe and the Middle East," he said.
"Those pioneering missions of the 1950s and 60s began a tradition which has resulted in over 66,000 individual tours of duty on peacekeeping operations," he added.
One veteran who attended was Colonel Richard Heaslip, father of rugby legend Jamie.
He served for more than 40 years in the cavalry corps, including overseas service in Cyprus, the Middle East and Kosovo and Bosnia.
Jamie was born in Israel on one family accompanied mission abroad.
"All these medals are on my chest but they should be on my wife Christine's chest," Mr Heaslip told the Irish Independent.
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