Happy Birthday Lt. Col. Ned Cusack 100 Years Old
Photos by Michael Coyne
Renmore Barracks, Galway, had a very special guest on Friday: Lieutenant Colonel Ned Cusack who turned 100 on 1 March. A veteran turning 100 is not a daily occurrence; especially a former member of 1st Infantry Battalion. There to meet Ned ware Lt Col Frank Flannery, O/C 1st Infantry Battalion (1 Cn Cois), veterans and members of his family. To mark the occasion members of 1 Cn Cois paid tribute to the guest of honour with a Guard of Honor and a tour of the the barrack’s museum where Ned reminisced over photographs dating back to the Emergency period. He was then invited to the Officer’s Mess for a birthday celebration.
Ned Cusack was born on 1 March, 1919. Growing up in Mitchelstown, Co. Cork, he joined the Defence Forces after completing his Leaving Certificate. Ned began his military career with the 12th Cadet Class. The following year with war clouds gathering, the cadets were put through intensive training. On commissioning Ned was posted to 1st Infantry Battalion in Galway, where he would spend a large part of his career. The battalion and Galway became his home. For the duration of the Emergency period the Ned and his unit were on a ‘war footing’. In 1940 he met Eileen, who he married in 1944. Following the intense years of the Emergency Ned went on to serve with the 5th Infantry Battalion in Collins Barracks, OC 20th Infantry Battalion FCÁ and OC Griffith Barracks, Eastern Command HQ, and with the United Nations in Cyprus. He retired from Army service in November 1977 and took up the appointment of Manager of Galway Fishery. Retiring in 1986, Ned lives today with Eileen in Moycullen, Co. Galway. Ned and Eileen have seven children, ten grandchildren and nine greatgrandchildren.
Ned wrote about his experiences in the Emergency in three issues of Ireland’s Military Story in 2016 and 2017.