Kilkenny’s Major General Kieran Brennan was among the members of the Defence Forces and other guests who attended a recent ceremony and plaque unveiling in Ballingarry in tribute to those from the area who were involved in WWI.
The community of Ballingarry was joined by descendants of the 80 or so individuals, as well as representation from serving Irish Defence Force personnel and veterans.
Proceedings got under way with a moving ceremony celebrated by Fr Derry Quirke in The Church of the Assumption. It began with the presentation of individual white crosses by a family member to the altar with the names of the 78 soldiers, one chaplain and one nun, with young people from the parish reading out each name.
Numerous people spoke or performed songs or readings at the event, pipers and buglers adding to the occasion. Chairman Martin Maher opened the ceremony, and introduced local historianDr Thomas McGrath, who gave a fascinating account of the involvement of the individuals commemorated, highlighting the numbers who lost their lives.
Later, Major General Brennan laid a laurel wreath and addressed the gathering thanking the committee for the invitation. He spoke about the continued peace keeping mission of the Irish Defence Forces in places like Lebanon, Goa and Mali, as well as assisting local communities in times of need. He commended the committee for the excellent plaque unveiled and suggested that a plaque such as this should be in every parish in Ireland.
Well done to the committee , their team of volunteers, and everyone who helped to make the day a huge success.