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The North Wexford Historical Society - Gorey Library
Friday 15th Feb: Brian and Mary Kenny wrote, produced and presented the event for the N.W.H.S., which took place in the Gorey Library in front of a very good crowd. In fact, the Chairman of the N.W.H.S. pointed out that our event had produced the largest audience the Society had achieved to date, Seventy people were in attendance and that excluded those of us taking part.
We set-up a diorama by the entrance of the Library by way of an introduction to our evening. At the rear of the seating area, both ourselves and the Western Front Association put on a display of Great War artifacts, medals and memorabilia. Senior IGWS member Eugene Power from Cork, resplendent in his Victorian Royal Munster Fusiliers scarlet and black uniform, was also representing the Royal Munster Fusiliers Association and the Western Front Association (Cork Branch). WFA Cork Branch officer Ross Glennon displayed his extensive medal collection awarded to Irish men and Women during WW1. Darren McMahon, Kieth Donnelly and Les Newman provided the visual aspect of the fighting men badged as the, Royal Dublin Fusiliers (Sgt), Leinster Regiment (Officer) and Royal Irish Regiment (Pte.), respectively.
Brian started the proceedings with an introduction into the uniform and equipment used by the men of the British Expeditionary Force and the New Armies. He continued with trench life and the Commonwealth War Graves before closing with an emotional review of the Gorey men that paid the ultimate sacrifice. The interest was so high that most of the audience remained long after the talk ended.
We would like to thank the Cork Branch of the Western Front Association for their support on the evening, and especially to Ross for bringing his fine medal collection. Finally, we would also like to express our gratitude to Cllr. Robbie Ireton (Gorey) for his support on the evening and his kind praise.
St. Patrick's Day Parade - Gorey
Sunday 17th Mar: In the morning of the parade we drove down to Wells House near Wexford to do a little drill and to show ourselves off to the management team there, which was a success as we have been asked to attend a couple of events planned later in the year. Then, with a downpour threatening, we gathered out on the Enniscorthy Road and waited for the parade to start hoping we could get somewhere near the bottom of the town before the heavens opened-up. Once again we receive good applause along the route but unfortunately we got a thorough soaking as the heavens did what they threatened earlier! This year we displayed our Vickers gun carrier for the first time, which had been restored by our own Brian Kenny. In previous years we have won first and second prizes for the 'Best Vintage Display' and hope to get some recognition this year as well, especially as there is a growing interest in the area about the Great War.
Culture Week at the Douglas Library - Cork
Saturday 23rd Mar: The IGWs joined members of the Munster Fusilier's Association and Western Front Association (Cork Branch) at this cultural history event. We set up our usual table top display containing artifacts and memorabilia from the Great War. Eugene Power, a member of all three groups, gave a talk on life in the trenches. Members Brian and Mary Kenny gave talks on the history of the Irish Great War Society and nursing in the First World War (respectively). Members were interviewed and photographed by the Cork Cultural Society.
Sunday 12th May: We set up our display in the grounds of the stunning Victorian manor house and had such a great day, it was all over before we had time to draw breath. This was our first full display of the year and took the opportunity to 'shake off the cobwebs' for he season ahead. It was also the first time that we presented our full display in Co. Wexford and it was very well received. There is a growing interest in the Great War in Gorey and the locals took the opportunity to sample a little of their distant family relatives experienced nearly one hundred years ago. Our static and field display created so much interest that we have been invited back to Wells House in July for a 'Victorian Tea Party'.
The Curragh Military Show
Saturday 22nd Jun: We all had an early start for this year's event as we had to set-up and clear our vehicles before 10 a.m. As there was only enough space for two tents we just set up our hospital tent and museum display tent. Drummer boy Mark Mullen took charge of the display tent and he made an excellent job of it too! He was kept busy all day explaining what each item in the display was. Well done Mark, and also to Dillon who was a great help too. Nurses Mary and Molly were joined by a new recruit to our nursing staff, Rheanna; we all wish Rheanna a warm welcome to our group and hope her stay with us will be a long and happy one.
The attending crowd this year was huge and probably the largest to date 'to boot'. There was an endless stream of visitors to both of our tents throughout the day and our only reprieve was provided by the Red Arrows display team and later in the day, by the RAF's newest fighter aircraft, the Typhoon.
The main purpose for our invitation to the Carrickfergus AFD was to provide a Guard of Honour and to give a General Salute with arms to the massed marching military bands, veteran's associations, current service personnel and cadets. There is nothing better than to have our salute returned and to receive praise and thanks afterwards from existing W.O's. and veterans. In particular, a Chief Petty Officer of the Royal Navy Cadet Corps wanted us to know that he thought our execution of the General Salute/Present Arms was excellent and asked that we extend his praise to everyone that took part.
Cork Public Museum-Fitzgerald Park, Cork
Saturday 6th July: The Irish Great War Society joined forces with the Western Front Association, the Royal Munster Fusilier's Association and War Group's Doughboy, Keiran Kirwin for the Museum's Great War themed event. This was the 2nd year that the Society held a display at the museum. Brian and Mary Kenny along with 'our man in Cork', Eugene Power displayed their private collections of Great War artifacts and memorabilia. Other collections on view were Ollie Griffin's (Royal Munster Fusilier's Association) collection of medals and Munster's memorabilia and Keiran's Doughboy display.
Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th Aug: Our camp was set-up in front of the main gaol building on Friday evening ready for the weekend's military extravaganza. 'Our man in Cork', Eugene Power took charge of the IGWS programme providing the commentary for our displays. The highlight of our performance once again was the firing of our MkIII Stokes Mortars. This years charity is the Irish Cancer Society
Vintage Weekend at the Hollywood Gathering,Co.Wicklow
Sunday 13 August: As part of Ireland's 'The Year of the Gathering' (a year long festival where Irish folk from around the globe return home to their townlands and parishes) a cadre of IGWS members attended this event deep in the Wicklow mountains where we were made to feel very welcome indeed. It was a relaxing day of promenading and posing for photos.
On Sunday morning the 10th of November, last, members of the Connaught Rangers Association (CRA), their families and friends gathered together at King House (the old Barracks of the 2nd Battalion, CR) in Boyle, Co Roscommon in remembrance of all those who had died or been wounded while serving with the Connaught Ranger Regiment over the very many years of its existence. Rev Ronnie Barker from the Church of Ireland and Fr Donal Morris from the Catholic Church in Boyle injected their message into the ceremony and the occasion went off in fine style. Families from Galway including the Comber family, who represented the IGWS at the ceremony, Limerick, Mullingar, Dublin and the locality turned up for this very special and emotional event. The CRA rendered military honours in the form of a colour party and the ‘Last Post and Reveille’ were sounded. An enjoyable day was had by all.