Recording Ireland’s Contribution to World Peace
As part of a project to record Ireland’s contribution to world peace, we visited Post 11, the Irish United Nations Veterans Association (IUNVA), in the Curragh Camp Co. Kildare. There we met and spoke with Irish Defence Forces veterans Company Quartermaster Sergeant Tony O’Reilly, Sergeant Major John Murray, and Sergeant Denis Gratten; who between them served on 34 missions around the world. Both John and Denis are Kildare men all their lives, while Tony came to the Curragh in 1974 from Waterford and has called it his home ever since.
The three men have unique perspectives on service overseas due to their diverse skillsets including logistics, communications, and crime scene investigation. They served in missions such as: United Nations Iran-Iraq Military Observer Group (UNIIMOG); United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon; United Nations Operation in Somalia II (UNOSOM II); European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) Bosnia and Herzegovina; and with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in Afghanistan. It was remarkable to hear the evolution of peacekeeping and overseas operations spanning almost 50 years.
Even though retired the veterans of IUNVA are still giving back and helping in the local community and supporting veterans.
Thank you for your service.
This project is supported by Kildare County Council Heritage Office, Creative Ireland, Irish United Nations Veterans Association, the Organisation of National Ex-Service Personnel, and the Association of Retired Commissioned Officers.