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Sunday 22 October 2017

Fallen heroes honoured at wreath laying ceremony

Paddy Bradly (Post 28) Charlie Raleigh (Post 28) and Seamus Byrne (Post 28)
Paddy Bradly (Post 28) Charlie Raleigh (Post 28) and Seamus Byrne (Post 28)
Ger Furlong and Sgt Major Niall Matthews
Norman Dixon raising the tri-colour at the Irish United Nations Veterans Association annual wreath laying ceremony at the 1798 Centre in Enniscorthy
The Irish United Nations Veterans Association annual wreath laying ceremony at the 1798 Centre in Enniscorthy

Pádraig Byrne

UN Veterans from all over the country arrived in Enniscorthy recently for the fifth annual wreath laying service to honour members who had died both in the line of service and in the intervening years. The poignant service took place at the UN Veterans Association monument in the grounds of the 1798 Centre which carries the names of over 90 members who served their country on various peace keeping missions abroad.

The event began with a parade through the car park and down to the monument before local representative Michael O'Neill, who himself served in the Lebanon and Cyprus, welcomed everybody and thanked them for being there. There were representatives present from almost all 30 posts across the country, including three posts in County Wexford, with people travelling from as far as Galway to be there. Also present were family members of UN Veterans who had passed on, either at home or abroad, whose names take pride of place on the monument.

Chairman of Enniscorthy Municipal District Cllr Keith Doyle welcomed everyone to Enniscorthy and spoke of the importance of honouring the memory of those who had bravely represented their country with distinction in volatile countries across the globe. Also present was Vice President of the UN Veterans Association Willie Gilbert who also addressed the some 60 strong crowd. Fr Billy Swan then gave a blessing before the tricolour was produly hoisted and everyone retired to the 1798 Centre for some food and a catch up, many of them not having seen each other since last year's event.

This could be the last year that the annual wreath laying takes place at the 1798 Centre, as it is expected that by next year's event, the monument will have made the move across to the Presentation Centre as big changes are afoot for the Arnold's Cross tourist landmark which opened back in 1998 to mark 200 years since the battle.

Enniscorthy Guardian

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