Winter 2015 - PRINT


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This year Ireland celebrated 60 years of membership with the United Nations. With membership of the UN came a long and proud tradition of peacekeeping. This issue looks at Ireland’s peacekeeping role through photographs and interviews with a focus on the Irish role in South Lebanon with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon.

To highlight the importance of recording veterans’ accounts in this issue we interviewed three Irish veterans spanning 75 years. During the Second World War the Irish Defence Forces mobilised to defend Ireland. Ireland was neutral and the period in Ireland was known as the Emergency. One man who joined up was Patsy O’Neill. 94 years of age he recounts his time in the Irish Army preparing for the worst.

Irish Defence Forces armed peacekeeping role in South Lebanon began back in 1978. Retired Company Sergeant Harry Mulhern recounts his time in South Lebanon during the early 1980’s. At this time, South Lebanon was still very volatile. Peacekeepers had to deal with influences from surrounding nations, local militias, and an maze of mines and Improvised Explosive Devises. In the middle of all this turmoil Irish troops held their ground and brought peace and stability to the surround towns and villages as best they could.

Taking our readers to more recent conflicts Trevor Coult MC recounts his time in the Royal Irish Regiment. Completing several tours in Iraq and Afghanistan Trevor was awarded a Military Cross for actions in Iraq. On his return home Trevor had to deal with a different battle, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. One of his ways of dealing with this disorder is writing.

This issue also features profiles on Colonel James Fitzmaurice the Irish Air Corps Aviator who made the first successful East West Trans-Atlantic flight; the Co. Down General Robert Rollo Gillespie who fought during the French Revolutionary Wars and the Ghurkha Wars; a powerful story in our Family History section on Washington Shields who originally joined the South Irish Horse which then transferred to 7th Battalion Royal Irish Regiment during the Great War. Captured in March 1918 he spent the rest of the war in a POW camp; a review of ‘Fighting for Republican Spain 1936-38’, and a visit to Galway Museum with a look at the ‘Galway & the Great War’ exhibit.




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