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History of IUNVA Post 32 Kerry

We started our Post in the early summer months of 2010.

In the first instance Tom Birmingham, had contacted IUNVA HQ for information about establishing an IUNVA Post in Kerry.

Subsequently, Tom made contact with other ex-UN veterans in Tralee and the surrounding county areas.

A meeting was held in the Kerins O’ Rahilly GAA Clubhouse where the IUNVA National Secretary, Dan Garland, and the IUNVA National Development Officer, Charlie Mott, attended and briefed the assembled veterans on the organisation, it’s Aims and Objectives.

Following the briefing, most veterans at the meeting signed up in July 2010.

In 2015, there are 26 members in our Post and our membership is drawn from members of the Permanent Defence Forces, An Garda Síochána and retired PDF members.

Although we have a couple of members working abroad, they still pay their Annual Fees and want to be associated with IUNVA in Kerry.


Trips abroad

Members have also made overseas trips to NORMANDY where they visited the War Graves and landing beaches.


Normandy 2013

L-R Tom Birmingham (Chairman) John O’Connor (Treasurer) Joe Hanley, John Gilbert, Alan Hanafin (Parade Marshall) on a visit to Normandy beaches and the War Graves.


Boston 2014

In 2014, we had members travelling to the USA to take part in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Boston

IUNVA Post 32 members L-R Donald Downing, John O’Connor and Tom Birmingham in Boston, 2014


Cabo Roig - Spain

In 2015, John Wade, took up an invitation to take part in a St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Cabo Roig, in Spain and, as a follow-up to that, more Post 32 IUNVA members will be travelling over there for that parade starting in 2016.

The Cabo Roig event is organised by the local community and, on their Committee, they have three ex-members of the Defence Forces who have all seen service in Lebanon and Iran/ Iraq.

Our comrades, who are retired PDF members and who are now resident in the Cabo Roig area, have put together their own “veterans uniform”


Prior to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Cabo Roig, near Alicante, Spain in 2015


L-R Paddy Kehoe (Resident) John Wade Post 32, Jim Casey Post 30, Richie Walsh (Resident and Local Organising Committee Member), Jerry Carroll (Resident)….all IUNVA Welcome for the next Parade!

Hoping to help our “ex-ers” and the local organising Committee, John Wade made contact with Minister Jimmy Deenihan,TD, who is Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach and at the Department of Foreign Affairs with special responsibility for the Irish abroad.

John and Minister Deenihan met in Listowel and John phoned one of the main organisers Jim O’Shea who, with his daughter Ciara, were subsequently invited to a meeting and forum in Dublin Castle.

Hopefully, we will have helped our comrades, and their Organising Committee, source some funding for their next and subsequent St. Patrick’s day Parades.

The local Organising Committee in Cabo Roig have now extended an open invitation to all IUNVA members to travel over and to take part in the Parade which, outside of Ireland, is noted as the largest in Europe outside of Ireland.

Contact John on 086 8033121,if you, your Family or Post Members are interested in joining us.


Listowel Military Tattoo

Several years on since its inception by local military enthusiasts, the Listowel Military Tattoo, which is held annually over the May Bank Holiday weekend, continues to grow in strength and popularity. Post 32 Members have taken part in the Parade and Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Town Square where, along with, the American Legion, the Royal British Legion, the Irish Legion, ONE, the French Foreign Legion of Ireland and VIP’s, John Wade, Post 32 Secretary, laid a wreath on behalf of IUNVA.


IUNVA members on the Listowel Military Tattoo Parade 2015

We see here IUNVA Members from Limerick, Cavan and Kerry.

Front and Centre are Post 32 members John O’Connor (Treasurer) and Tony Carroll (Welfare Officer)


Flag Days

Our first Post 32 Flag Day was held in Tralee, in 2014, and we are particularly mindful of those many members of the public who said: “Thank You for the service you have given to our country and for your work overseas”.

We never expected praise for doing our duty, but it was heart-warming to receive such recognition for what we do at home and for what we have done, and continue to do, internationally in the service of peace.

We understand that members cannot always attend every meeting but there is an overwhelming wish by all of our members, to be associated with and to be part of what we stand for.

It is impossible to close this article on our history without mentioning our esteemed colleague John O’Mahony, survivor of that appalling atrocity in Lebanon, when we lost our comrades, Derek Smallhorne and Tom Barrett, may they Rest in Peace.

John is a proud member of IUNVA. It is our privilege to know him and we trust justice will prevail and will bring closure to all the families, friends and comrades, effected by the events of that fateful day.

We would ask any UN veterans, out there, who are interested in becoming a member of Post 32, Kerry, to contact the Post 32 Secretary, John Wade, on 086 8033121.


Contact IUNVA

Arbour House 
Mount Temple Road
Dublin 7 

T: +353(0)1-6791262
E: iunvahqd7@gmail.com



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