IUNVA  |  Honouring Caring Remembering




Funeral of Brendan Grace RIP

BrendanOn 13th July 2019 IUNVA received a personal request from the family of Brendan Grace through the undertaker for 30 members of IUNVA to provide a Guard of Honour and a Piper at the St. Nicholas of Myra Church,  Francis Street, Dublin'in the Liberties on Monday 15th July 2019.  This was a great honour for our Association and we gladly accepted the request with deepest sympathy and dignity.  On arrival at the church the remains were piped by Anto Byrne IUNVA Piper through a Guard of honour of 30 members of IUNVA, under Michael Dillon the Parade Commander.  IUNVA offer our deepest sympathy and condolences to the Grace Family on their loss and are honoured to have taken part in Brendan's Funeral.

KillarneyUN Peacekeepers honoured at Killarney ceremony

IRISH UN VETERANS HONOURED IN KILLARNEY  JUNE 4th 2019 Minister for Defence Paul Kehoe pictured after accepting the Mons Hugh O'Flaherty Humanitarian Award 2019 on behalf of the Defence Forces in St. Mary's Church of Ireland, Killarney on Tuesday evening. Also in photo are Mayor of Killarney Niall Kelleher, Jim Casey, Chairman, IUNVA, Major General Kieran Brennan, Deputy Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Patrick Flynn and UN Veteran John O'Mahony, Hugh O'Flaherty, Pearl Dineen, Jerry O'Grady and invited guests. Photo: Don MacMonaglePress release: Before a large audience in the unique and beautiful St Mary’s Church of Ireland in Killarney, including foreign Ambassadors and Diplomats and UN Veterans, Killarney’s Deputy Mayor Niall Kelleher presented the Hugh O’Flaherty Humanitarian Award Scroll last evening to Minister for Defence Paul Kehoe and Irish UN Veterans Chairman Jim Casey. Representing the Hugh O’Flaherty Family and Memorial Society, Judge Hugh O’Flaherty and Pearl Dineen presented the International Humanitarian Medal to Deputy Chief of Staff Major General Kieran Brennan and Brigadier General Patrick Flynn. The Award Ceremony was preceded by a powerful performance by Donal Courtney of his acclaimed one-man play “God Has No Country”, receiving a standing ovation from all present. In his introduction, Memorial Society Chairman Jerry O’Grady said, “Heroes are often defined as those who give of themselves, often putting their own lives at risk for the greater good of others. By this measure, without seeking fame or fortune, the brave men and women of the Irish Defence Forces wearing the iconic blue beret, are truly heroes, deserving of our unbridled admiration and support” Addressing the gathering, Deputy Mayor Niall Kelleher said, “From Lebanon to Cyprus and from El Salvador to Kosovo, Irish UN peacekeepers have always served with diligence and distinction. Irish Defence Forces in particular have always been warmly welcomed wherever they have served. That honourable service has probably come to greater public attention in recent years through the telling of the story of the Siege of Jadotville, but for decades now, Irish men and women have proudly entered some of the world’s most dangerous and volatile regions. It is important to remember at time too those 86 members of our Defence Forces who have paid the ultimate sacrifice”. In his acceptance speech, Minister Paul Kehoe said, “Just like the incredible humanitarian work carried out by Monsignor O’Flaherty over 75 years ago, the Irish Defence Forces have also brought great honour to Ireland through their participation in peacekeeping operations over the last 60 years. One of the elements that I am often struck by as Minister is the deep respect and admiration for the Irish Defence Forces right around the world”. The Minister added, “Ireland’s unbroken and proud history of participation in UN missions is one of the things that helps makes us stand out as a nation. It strengthens our values; it deepens our international relations; it shows that one small country can make a huge difference on the global stage. As Minister, I am determined that we continue our great Peacekeeping tradition”. The minister paid a special tribute to one member of the audience, Scartaglin native Irish UN Veteran John O’Mahony. In 1980 while serving in the Lebanon, John was shot and seriously injured but happily he survived. Sadly, two of his colleagues, Pte Derek Smallhorne and Pte Thomas Barrett were killed. The final element of the Award Ceremony was the presentation of a generous bursary to the Veterans Association by Donal Hickey, Vice Chair of the Muckross House Trustees Board. Included in the audience were four members of the Raaijmakers family from the Netherlands. Their uncle Anton Musters (Fr Anselmus) was an Augustinian Priest in Rome and an active member of the Rome Escape Line. One month before the Liberation of Rome, he was captured by the Gestapo, interrogated and tortured, but he refused to reveal any information on the Rome organisation. He was being transported to a prison camp in Germany when he escaped during a stopover in Florence and returned to Rome on the day of Liberation. If Fr Anselmus had given up the Rome Organisation during torture, it is probable the Msgr Hugh and many others would not have survived the war. His bravery saved the lives of many of the Escape Line organisers. Earlier in the day, to mark the 75th anniversary of the Liberation of Rome, two symbolic trees were planted in the Graveyard of the O’Connell Memorial Church in Cahersiveen, the burial place of Monsignor Hug O’Flaherty. Further Information: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2019-Humanitarian-Award-Framed-Scroll-1Humanitarian Award Ceremony 4th June 2019

Killarney Co. Kerry

The Hugh O'Flaherty Annual Commemorations Award  for 2019 will be awarded to Defence Forces and Irish United Nations Veterans Associations for their Service on UN Peacekeeping missions for the past 50 years.

Presenting Party:

  • Mayor of Killarney

O’Flaherty Family or Society Representative


Accepting Party:

  • Minister Paul Kehoe
  • COS Mark Mellett
  • Defence Forces Member (Selected by COS)
  • IUNVA Representative Chairman Jim Casey


  • MC – Jerry O’Grady (O’Flaherty Society)
  • Pre-Award – Mayor of Killarney
  • Jim Casey
  • Post-Award – Minister Paul Kehoe















 PresMedal Presentations to Sean Tiernan – Jadotville Veteran in London

On Thursday 28th February 2019, at a ceremony at the Irish Embassy in London, Vice Admiral Mark Mellett DSM, Chief of Staff Defence Forces presented the UN Peacekeepers Medal and the Jadotville Medal to Sean Tiernan, a London based Irish Veteran.  Sean served as a seventeen and a half year old Corporal in the Congo in 1961.

The ceremony was attended by Sean’s wife Margaret, His Excellence Adrian O’Neill, the Irish Ambassador to the U.K.  Ruaidhri Dowling First Secretary at the Embassy.  Sally Mulready and Margaret Geiger from the Irish Elderly Advice Network.  Three representatives from Irish United Nations Veterans Association, Sean’s neighbours and friends from the Irish Centre in Camden London.

Sean was from Killrooskey Co. Roscommon, he cycled to Renmore Barracks Galway to enlist in 1st Infantry Battalion.  He deployed to the Congo in 1961 with A Company 36 Infantry Battalion.   His Company Commander was the Late Commandant Pat Quinlan and his Platoon Commander was Lieutenant Tom Quinlan.  A Company with two armoured cars from the armoured car group distinguished themselves in fighting off attacks from a much larger, heavily armed force from 13th to 18th December 1961 at the siege of Jadotville.  The attacking Katangese forces were supported from the air by a Fouga Magister jet fighter.  Only five Irish soldiers were wounded during the fighting.  A Company was 120 kilometres away from the rest of their Battalion stationed in Elizabethville and 200 kilometres from the other Irish unit 1 Infantry Group at Kamina air base.  As they were completely surrounded in a very isolated vulnerable position and the route to Elizabethville was in Katangese hands at Lufria Bridge, attempts to reinforce or extract the Company were unsuccessful, eventually a ceasefire was agreed.  The Jadotville garrison were then held prisoner until 24th October 1961, when they were released in a prisoner exchange.

The Chief of Staff stated that Sean was a man or courage, a soldier who was dedicated to the service of his country and he was delighted to present the medals on behalf of Paul Keogh TD Minister of State with responsibility for Defence.  He paid tribute to the heroism and fortitude of those who fought at Jadotville under the most hazardous conditions.

Sean made a heartfelt address and he started by dedicating the medals to his Company Commander the late Colonel Pat Quinlan “I owe my life him, he saved all our lives at Jadotville”.  He visited Colonel Quinlan in Athlone 2 years before he passed away in 1997.  Sean spoke with immense pride about his comrades in Jadotville, the outstanding leadership of the officers and non commissioned officers and how so many have now passed away.  He concluded by thanking the Chief of Staff , the Ambassador  and his staff, the Personal support Services, Irish United Nations Veterans Association and all involved in arranging the ceremony.

Over a cup of tea Sean recalled the great sadness of all personnel in the Battalion at the death of their comrades Trooper Eddie Gaffney, Trooper Pat Mullins and Corporal Michael Nolan who were killed in two separate ambushes in Elizabethville.  He said he still thinks of the anguish of the Mullins family as the remains of the young soldier were never found.  He said he will cherish the medals and he will hold the memories of his comrades in his heart forever.

In September 2017 United Nations Veterans Association organised a ceremony in Claremorris Co. Mayo when personalised commemorative plaques were presented to the survivors and next of kin for their heroism and action at Jadotville.   Sean travelled from UK to receive his.  He has been in contact with us through the Irish Elderly Advice Network in the UK.


I would be very interested in recording the memories of current and former soldiers of the Irish Defence Forces for the oral history project, it involves a dictaphone and a simple chat format that would take aprox one hour or so and is purely for educational and historical purposes. The recording is deposited into Military Archives of Ireland for the MAOHP and is protected there with strict usage and copyright policies etc. The majority of the recordings I do take place in the Air Corps Museum at Baldonnel but on I can travel to other locations/homes etc depending on who the interview is and where. You can also contact Military Archives at 01 804 6547.
 This is the first oral history programme to be carried out by the Defence Forces (Please see links below to the programme). If you would like to take part in the programme then please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone/text 0874103764
Please see the MAOHP page for further info, the introductory clip and some samples interviews =
You can contact me at this email address, or by phoning me at 0874103764 or the museum at 01 4037694
Thank you
Corporal Michael J. Whelan - Irish Air Corps Museum/ Collector for the Military Archives of Ireland Oral History Programme


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 animated-merry-christmas-image-0116The National Chairman and Executive Committee wish all Members of our Association and their families a Very Happy Christmas and Bright New Year.   We thank all members who organised and attended events during 2018, your commitment is greatly appreciated.  Without the input by you the members our Association would not be where it is today.  Thank you.

Yours in Peace

National Executive






 Irish United Nations Veterans Association To All Veterans/Associations/Organisations  - 22nd September 2018

The Word “VETERAN” is seen by most as an “Old Retired Soldier”.  This is not so, once you have served your 1st UN Tour of Duty, you are a UN Veteran. We urge you to join our Association, we need young blood,the age profile of our members is not getting any younger.  Serving soldiers are allowed to join the Association.  This is approved by Department of Defence.  Serving soldiers or discharged who have no UN service can become an IUNVA Subscriber.

Our Association is the only official recognised Association listed in Defence Forces White Paper where all of our Members have served in Defence Forces or are still serving.

You are invited to consider becoming a member, or a Subscriber of our Association, we respect that your loyalty lies with your Association and we are proud to have you participate in your respective uniforms at all events.  Rest assured we will not interfere in your Association policies in any way, our advice, help and support is available should your require such.  Your support will ensure we can continue to finance the welfare requirements of veterans into the future.  Membership and Subscriber Membership fees is €24.00 per year, payable to Treasurer IUNVA, or deduction from Pension or Pay, or via DONATE icon on website www.iunva.ie  - One off donations is also accepted.

Number one we are all veterans and it is in our interest to work together, united we stand, divided we fall.  We are currently working with Department of Defence in securing a Veterans Policy in Defence Forces White Paper; this is not only for IUNVA Members but for all our Veterans.   If you wish to make any submissions, recommendations you are free to do so and we can take them on board.  Finally I ask all Veterans not to make unfavourable or discreditable postings on social media, if anyone has an issue please make contact first and endeavour to sort it out.  It is not in the best interest of Veterans to make such remarks on social media; it may be in the interest of the Powers to be to see us at one other’s throats instead of working together in harmony to achieve our respective goals.

19th September 2018 Parade Wives & Partners Defence Forces was a prime example of how we can work to-gather; this was a parade for all Veterans irrespective of our Associations/Organisations, with different uniforms and some Veterans in civilians where we marched as one side by side.  The organisation was professionally run with dignity and respect, let this be a stepping stone into the future where we are in unity with each other. It is the intention of IUNVA to meet with all other Veterans Associations/Organisations in the near future.

The objectives of our Association are listed on our Website www.iunva.ie.   You may have seen unfavourable and discreditable remarks posted on social media concerning our Association from time to time.  It is not our policy NOT to reply to such postings on social media.   99% of such postings are incorrect with unfounded statements and remarks.   Documentation on such postings is recorded and we can prove they are incorrect.

What you see on our Website is a general description of our Association’s every day events.  Countless events cannot be published; they are confidential in that they relate to payments for welfare, burials, accommodation, counselling, medical and domestic matters.  We not only cater for our members but also any ex soldiers with genuine problems.   These problems are never-ending and it is envisaged they will continue to increase.  All such payments are included in our Annual Audited Accounts and submitted to Charity Regulator when audited.

Our Association has the greatest respect for all Veterans Associations/Organisations and as veterans we should work in harmony side by side.  We may have differences but these can be settled by sitting down and talking.  Our Association and ONET are recognised by Department of Defence and as such we can be a voice for your Associations at our meetings with them.  This has already been successfully achieved in the running of Veterans Day by appointing a Ceremonial Officer from one of the Association to organise other Associations parading on the day.  We have also voiced our concerns on Pay & Conditions in Defence Forces at such meetings directly with Minister Responsible for Defence.   We supported Wives & Partners on parades and will continue to do so in future ones.  Your support is also appreciated in supporting such important events.

Please consider joining our Association and if you require any further clarifications or information on any matter feel free to contact us.  We look forward in hearing from you.

 Jim Casey                                                                                              22nd September 2018

National Chairman


LOGOParade Respect & Loyalty 19th September 2018 

We have this one last chance to show strength of numbers & solidarity to everyone that our DF is in Crisis!! That the Silent Sentinels of the our Citizens, our Country & our Government - who provide Security & Stability for Foreign Investment, are heading into an abyss.  We owe it to them all, including the Department of Defence, to let them know they are playing with a false economy, and leaving us all at risk.
Everyone on our Parade is a Leader - a peer Leader. And we will lead by example from the start to the finish of our Parade!!
Parking in Merrion Square South & West - An Garda Síochána.
This is a Parade - NOT a protest. 
1. First of all, if it rains we will get wet, but it will just demonstrate how determined we are. So good or bad, stay the course, regardless of the weather, Parade & Stand Together.
2. Our parade is organised so as NOT to impact on local people or businesses in the areas of our parade. 
3. Respect will be shown to all who Parade & Support us, no exceptions.
4. Our submission will be signed off by Sean Finnergan Retired PDF, Alan Laird Retired RDF, Diarmuid Higgins Retired Navy, Pat O Toole Retired Air Corp and Judith Butler Wharton WPDF. This represents all four Services of the DF & our families!!All submission's will have original signatures on it.
5. Phase 1 -  a) 0900 Hrs - Copy of our signed submission is handed in to our Chief Of Staff Vice admiral Mark Mellett DSM, at McKee Barracks Dublin by Three (3) Retired Veterans BTC (with Noel O Callaghan as coordinator). Flag bearers with our National Flag with David Carrick, 2 Bn Association and three (3) overseas mission flags - UN/ EU & NATO - Action Paul Clarke.

b) 0930 Hrs - Copy of our signed submission is handed in to our Uachtarán na hÉireann Michael D Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin by two (2)  Jadotville Veterans Tom Gunn, John Gorman with Anto Gallagher 2 FARA (with Noel O Callaghan as coordinator).Flag bearers with our National Flag David Carrick 2 Bn Association and three (3) overseas mission flags - UN/ EU & NATO - Action Paul Clarke.
c) 0940 Hrs - Copy of the signed submission is handed in to Maurice Quinn Secretary General Department of Defence in Newbridge by Sarah Washe, Gerry Fogarty & Jimmy Shields. 
All at a, b & c will move to the Military Memorial at Merrion Square, where the Military Community & all who support us will form up and Parade for Respect & Loyalty.

Phase 1 Ends.

6. Phase 2 -a) 1145 Hrs Military Memorial Merrion Square Dublin - Parade form up.  
b)  Respect & Loyalty Ceremony will be held prior to our Parade at Leinster House.
c) Speakers - Shelley, Senator Gerard P Craughwell & Noel O Callaghan.
d) Blessing - TBC.
e) Six (6) x Wreaths are laid for all who have Died in Service  - Brian ONeill Chairman 1916 Relatives Association, Joe McCrossen 28 Bn Assoc, Brian Grundy & Pat O Toole Air Corp, Michael Quinn & Damien Eastword Navel Service, John Oxberry 2FARA RDF & Lorraine  O'Hare WPDF representing DF family members.
f) 1916 Proclamation read out by Mervyn Ennis. 
g) Minutes Silence in Respect & Loyalty for all who died in Service & for all of our Citizens.
h) Last Post.
i) Pipers Lament.
j) Reveille - Phase 2 Ends.
7. Phase 3 -a) 1200 Hrs; Parade turns to their left & move to Leinster House via Trinity Collage side of Kildare Street.Five groups - Band, Colours & three (3) x blocks of fives (5) abreast.Block 1 (Military Veterans in Association Dress), Block 2 Families & Supporters etc, Block 3 (Military Veterans in Civilian Dress). This will make it easier for everyone for the form up as they will know which block to go to.
This format - symbolism -the protection of our Citizens, Country & Government by our Defence Forces.
We will walk as quick as our slowest member so everyone who wants to join us can do so.
b) 1245 Hrs Parade Arrives & take up position outside Government Buildings in the same formation.
c) 1300 Hrs 1.  Address to our Parade & all present - Declan Power - Front Left of Entrance. 2. Concurrent - 1 x Retired PDF addresses Media - Front Left of Entrance.3. Colours will be the back drop for both - Action Paul Clarke.
d) One (1) Minutes Silence for Respect & Loyalty for all who work in Leinster House.
e) National Anthem - IUNVA Pipe Band accompanied by those on our parade. 
f) 1315 - A copy of our signed submission is handed to the Leader of all political parities as follows;
1. M Martin TD - Fianna Fáil Party Leader - Jimmy Casey National Chairman IUNVA.2. Brendad Howlin - Labour Leader - Ray Quinn.3. Eamon Ryan - Green Party Leader - Bernard Maguire Snr 3 Bn Association.4. Marylou McDonald - Sinn Féin Leader- Tony Bolger 2 Inf Bn Association.5. Richard Boyd Barrett - Solidarity – People Before Profit Leader - Tony Bulger 2 Bn Association.6. Tommy Broughan TD - Independents 4 Change Leader - Marlo Brien 5 Bn Association.7. Shane Ross TD - Independent Alliance - Sarah Walshe WPDF .8. Catherine Murphy TD - Social Democrats - Martin Healy 4 FARA.9. Leo Varadker TD - Fine Gael Leader and Minster for Defence Leo Varadker TD - 1 X  9 nine year old girl, representing the children of Military Families -Citizens -  who are loosing out because of Contracts, Wages & Allowances that are not fit for purpose!!
g) All of our elected representatives will be invited out to view the last 15 minutes, including the hand over of the submissions. 

Phase 3 Ends.
9. Phase 4 -a) 1325 Hrs Parade forms and turns towards Stephens Green Park & proceeds back to Merrion Square Military Memorial - b) Short Stop at the Dept of Finance,where a copy of our signed submission is handed into the Dept of Fiance by Noel O Callaghan.
10. 1330 Hrs Parade stands down. Phase 4 Ends. 
11. Phase 5 - Press Conference 1400 hrs - Buswells Hotel.
8. Appointments - a) Parade Commander - Mick Dillon.b) Parade Marshell's - Mick Dillon & Derek Lamb - Block 1, Pat O Driscoll & Dick O Hanlon - Block 3.
c) Parade Stewards - John Jeffers, Tom Barden & Paddy Kavanagh & nineteen (19) x Volunteers - Block 2.d) Colours - Paul Clarke.e) Medical - Terry Tobin & Yvonne Smith Murphy (Paramedic with the National Ambulance).f) PA System for both Locations - Michael Thompson & Charlie Mott IUNVA.g) MC - John Hamill.h) Communications -  Paddy Houlihan CIS DFTC.i) Audio Recording - Mark Bennett (Mark Bennett Audiovisual) & Matthew Jones ("Reel Palette").j) Photography - Denis Barry, Paddy Gifford & Martin Rowe. 
We took this road together &  we will finish it together - Together Forward - Noel O Callaghan Regiment Sergeant Major - Retired.086 3581 634




An invitation was received from Department of Defence to Jim Casey Chairman IUNVA and Michael Colton President Post 1 to attend Headquarters United Nations New York with Defence Force personnell for a wreath laying ceremony by an Taoiseach at Headquarters UN New York from 30th June 2018 to 4th July 2018.   Also to operate the Congo and Cyprus display stands at the launch of the campaign for an Irish seat on Assembly UN HQ New York USA.










A State ceremony to mark the 60th Anniversary of participation by Ireland in United Nations Peacekeeping Operations will be held in Dublin Castle on Sunday 24th June 2018 commencing at 12.00 noon.

The event, which will be led by the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, will celebrate Ireland’s service and commitment to UN peacekeeping participation by the Defence Forces, An Garda Síochána and civilian personnel since 1958. A wreath will be laid in honour of all Irish personnel who died while on U.N. service.  20 IUNVA members are required as flag bearers.

The Ceremony will conclude at 12.45 pm. Members of the public are welcome to attend the ceremony and should be in position in the designated public viewing area in Dublin Castle, no later than 11.30 a.m. as there will be limited capacity at this standing event.

United Nations vehicles and equipment will be on display in the Lower Yard, Dublin Castle throughout the day. For public relations purposes photographs may be taken throughout this event and made publicly available.

IUNVA have been issued with invitations for 1 member of each post to officially attend, members with no invitations are also welcome to attend in public viewing area.

The National Executive Committee wish to thank all members who attended this event.  Special thanks to the Flag Bearers who stood in sweltering heat for over an hour, a credit to all.












johnPresident of Ireland, President Michael D Higgins met with retired Corporal John Gorman from Castlepollard, who has long campaigned for recognition of the men of “A” Company who were involved in the siege of Jadotville and for the award of the Medal.










Early Monday morning 27th May 2018 after our Annual Wreath Laying of Sunday IUNVA members made their way to Dublin Airport for departure to Sweden.  Chairman Jim Casey, National Welfare Officer Mick Thompson, Post 1 President Michael Colton, Post 1 Chairman John Egan, IUNVA Pipe Band Anto Byrne, Museum Curator Ronnie Delaney, Post 1 Mick Monaghan, John Toomey,  Joe O’Brien, Post 5 Des Keegan, Post 27 Martin Roe our Photographer and representing Defence Forces Sgt. Major John Murray.

On arrival we were met by members of Swedish UN Congo veterans and Per Carlborg who was our Congo contact veteran who represented the Swedish veterans.  A bus was arranged to transport us on our almost 2 hour drive to Ledningsregementet Enköping Garrison Barracks set in a beautiful woodland area with the kind permission of Capt Ray Lindahi.   This was a rest day and after an excellent dinner we had a few drinks with our hosts.

Tuesday 29th May 2018 International Peacekeepers Day we were on the road at 06.00 to attend Veterans Day.  On arrival we were met and introduced to Head of Veterans affairs Swedish Armed Forces Col Torbiorn Larsson and Sgt major Daniel Nybling Swedish Armed Forces Veterans Affair Office.  All veterans were issued with VIP Passes and were seated in the VIP area along with the King of Sweden Carl Gustaf Folke  Hubertus, The Minister of Defence Carl Peter Hultqvist, Swedish Armed Forces Supreme Commander Micael Byden and Military attaches from other countries.  The ceremony was performed in an efficient professional manner and was most enjoyable.

After the Ceremony we were preceding to the catering area for dinner, I was approached by The Minister of Defence Carl Peter Hultqvist, I recognised him from his speech.  He asked if we were the 11 Irish Veterans, I replied yes and introduced myself as National Chairman.  He said it would be a very great honour for him to meet each member of our party.  All fell in including Sgt Major John Murray and each member gave their name and a brief description of their UN tours of duty.  We then fell out.   Col Torbiorn Larsson asked if we could wait another 15 minutes before lunch as The Swedish Armed Forces Supreme Commander Micael Byden also wished to meet us, we gladly accepted the request.  On his arrival we all fell and like the Minister he spoke to each member.  He then gave a short speech on our excellent role on UN duties and paid his respects to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.  We extend sincere thanks and appreciation to these gentlemen for giving up their busy schedule on the day for their courtesy to speak with us.  After an excellent meal we returned to base and were entertained by our hosts.

Wednesday 30th May 2018 again an early start as we set off to Visit  the Vasa Museum in Stockholm.  We had a guided tour of the museum; it would take a day to see all the items, so we had a short tour as we were going on a Steamer trip.  This trip was greatly enjoyed by all, we docked and had lunch, then returned to base exhausted but still had time for a few beers.

Thursday 31st May 2018 once again another early start to Royal Lifeguard Regiment in Kungsängen where we got a welcome from Colonel Laura Swaan-wiede.  A presentation was made to her by National Chairman.  She then presented tie pins to us.
DCO Lt Col Gustaf Dufberg gave us brief on the courses conducted at the centre. Rtd. Lt Col Arthur Armstrong from Irish Defence Forces also gave a brief; he is currently on the staff at the centre.   A presentation was made to Col Torbiorn Larsson by Michael Colton President Post 1.   After the briefs and lunch we had a guided tour of a small military museum.  Then a wreath laying ceremony and the Irish ambassador attended.

We then made our way to the Irish Ambassadors Resident in Stockholm for a reception hosted by her.  This was enjoyed by all and the Ambassador conversed with all members.  She gave a speech on our role on UN Duties past and present.  Our one and only, Anto brought the house to the roof with his pipes.   National Chairman made a presentation to the Ambassador.  On our return to base we had a barbeque and presentations were made To Swedish Congo UN Veterans by National Chairman, Michael Thompson and Martin Roe.

Friday 1st June 2018 at 04.00 hours we were awake and alert in preparation for our departure to the Airport.  We were accompanied by Swedish UN Congo Veterans to see us off.  No words can be expressed for the hospitality, catering, accommodation, transport arrangements and courtesy bestowed on us by our hosts.  Their pre-planning was second to none and we were on time for all events.

As National Chairman I must express my thanks to all our members on their excellent punctuality for all the events, their dress and deportment were a credit to them.  We did not have a single hitch during the visit, except the mosquitoes. They took a liking to Post 1 Chairman.  I must make special mention to Anto our Piper, Martin our photographer and Mick Thompson for the groundwork.  Also Sgt Major John Murray, he was a diplomat for the Defence Forces in his dress and deportment at all times.

The Swedish Government and Army have great respect and honour for its Veterans.  They have a Veterans Affairs Department established in the Army with a Colonel and a Sergeant Major full-time employed in this office to cater for all the requirements and needs of veterans.  The Government allot half a million Euro each year to the Swedish Veterans to cater for their needs.  Meetings between the Veterans Affairs Department and the Swedish Veterans are held regularly during the year to organise events and finances.

Photo Slideshow will follow in Photo Gallery

National Chairman










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