VIDEOS: Kilkenny based soldiers don't mess around in unarmed combat display at Barracks Open Day

Ten-year-old Colm Byrne tried his hand at a sniper rifle as the event proves incredibly popular

Darren Hassett

Reporter:

Darren Hassett

Email:

darren.hassett@kilkennypeople.ie

Hundreds turned out for the Open Day at the James Stephens Military Barracks this afternoon (Friday) with the rain clearing just as people started arriving. 

The 3rd Infantry Battalion - which boasts around 500 members - was on full display for two hours in Kilkenny City with an array of weaponry and equipment on show. 

There were all sorts of guns to pick up and hold, including sniper rifles, rocket launchers, machine guns and pistols.

Several times throughout the two hours there were unarmed combat displays, riot control demonstrations, kids face-painting and armoured vehicles parked in the barracks yard. 

The 1 BRIGADE, a Defence Forces band, also played music. The 3rd Infantry Battalion has responsibility for the South East and as such soldiers based here come from all the surrounding counties.

Among those in attendance for the open day was ten-year-old Colm Byrne from Kilkenny and his mother Una. 

When asked what his favourite part of the open day was, Colm replied: "Shooting the guns." It's no surprise then that he was delighted to receive a demonstration from Sniper Instructor, Corporal Peter O'Halloran.

Speaking to the Kilkenny People about the open day, Colm's mother, Una, said: "It's great. This is geared towards kids, giving them a hands on feel." 

Among those in attendance was Kilkenny hurling legend Colin Fennelly who played hurling games with some of the children in attendance who got a chance to meet their idol. 

You can read more about the open day and see all of the pictures from the event in next week's Kilkenny People.