EU military at Bastille Day celebration


Six members of the Irish Defence Force carried the Irish flag today in the Bastille Day Celebrations in Paris.

The colour party - featuring personnel from the Army, Naval Service, and Air Corps - will march along the famous Champs-Elysees in an event to mark the storming of the Bastille on July 14th, 1789.

The group were invited to take part in the national celebration by the French government.

The day is being commemorated across France, with military parades, called Defiles du 14 Juillet, being held throughout the country, with the largest taking place in Paris.

Troops from all 27 European Union states marched down the Champs Elysees and presented their colours to French President Nicolas Sarkozy in the traditional military parade.

Mr Sarkozy, elected in May, had invited other soldiers to underline France's commitment to Europe despite the rejection by French voters in 2005 of a proposed European constitution.

In a carefully prepared display, a V formation of flag bearers preceded the 800-strong European guest parade with the European Union and French flags at the front.

That came after some 4,000 French military marched by and air force jets made a flyover in a show of military might.