Hundreds turn out to remember those who died while serving the State

Crew of Rescue 116 and 86 Irish soldiers among those remembered at Merrion Square

The National Memorial is a place of contemplation and remembrance. Photograph: Ronan McGreevy

The National Memorial is a place of contemplation and remembrance. Photograph: Ronan McGreevy

 

Hundreds of people turned out for the annual commemoration for members of the Defence Forces who died in the service of the State.

Chief of staff of the Defences Forces Vice–Admiral Mark Mellett was among the crowd assembled at the National Memorial in Merrion Square for the ceremony.

The event took place at the pyramid shaped memorial which was first opened by former president Mary McAleese in November 2008.

Photograph: Ronan McGreevy
Photograph: Ronan McGreevy

The ceremonial changing of the guard took place between the Air Corps based in Casement Aerodrome Baldonnel and members of 7 Infantry Battalion based in Cathal Brugha Barracks in Dublin.

It was followed by the playing of the Last Post and Reveille and the raising of the national flag.

The National Memorial is a place of contemplation and remembrance, where families, relatives and members of the public can reflect on the sacrifice of those who have died in the service of the Defence Forces.

Further ceremonies will take place in August in Cork, Limerick and the Curragh in Kildare.

A wreath was laid in memorial of Corporal Gregory Morrow (20) and Privates Thomas Murphy (19) and Peter Burke (20). They were killed while on duty in the Lebanon in October 1982 by a fellow Irish soldier Michael McAlevey.

A wreath was laid in memorial of Corporal Gregory Morrow (20) and Privates Thomas Murphy (19) and Peter Burke (20). Photograph: Ronan McGreevy
A wreath was laid in memorial of Corporal Gregory Morrow (20) and Privates Thomas Murphy (19) and Peter Burke (20). Photograph: Ronan McGreevy

Eighty six Irish soldiers serving with the UN have died on duty since 1960.

Among those who left wreaths were the family of Corporal Niall Byrne (25) who was killed along with three of colleagues during a search and rescue mission off the coast of Co Waterford in July 1999.

The wreath also remembered the crew of Rescue 116 which crashed killing all four people on board in March.