Message From Chairman – 2018

Introduction

Acknowledging that military heritage is common to the different political, religious and cultural traditions on the island, the Military Heritage of Ireland Trust (CLG), as a voluntary and non-profit organisation, advances an all-Ireland, cross border, non-denominational and non-political approach to military heritage and the story of the Irish Soldier. Since its establishment in 1999, the Trust’s membership is drawn from the different traditions in Ireland, and a variety of backgrounds including business, public service, military service, academia, archivists, historians, students, researchers and the general public.

As Chairman, I wish to extend a sincere welcome to our new Members who were elected since the 2017 Annual General Meeting. Extending our membership base to include Veterans’ Associations and Museums, I also welcome those Associations and Museums whose representatives were elected as members of the Trust. Membership enhances the influence of the Trust, provides the unique opportunity to be part of the network of people who care about the preservation of Ireland’s military heritage for future generations, and funds the Trust’s activities including research.
I would like to take this opportunity of conveying my personnel appreciation to all Directors, to our Members and our Webmaster for your steadfast commitment to the Trust. As you are aware, the Trust’s leadership echelon, including its Directors, Company Secretary, Assistant Secretary and Legal Adviser, are volunteers.
In the same vein, I would like to acknowledge the support the Trust receives from the Department of the Taoiseach, the Department of Defence, the National Museum of Ireland and the Defence Forces – Óglaigh na hÉireann.

Dr Maurice Hayes RIP

The Directors and all members of the Trust were deeply saddened at the news of the death of Dr Maurice Hayes RIP on 23 December, 2017. Tributes have been paid by all quarters following his death. He was a highly respected member of the Trust and served from October 2005 through May 2011 as a Director. Dr Hayes experiences, service and expertise were instrumental in shaping the Trust’s ethos, vision, mission and objectives. The Chair paid tribute to Dr Hayes in the Trust’s Newsletter 1/2018, circulated on 18 January. Our thoughts are with his family, former colleagues and friends – May he rest in peace.

Dr Frank Murray RIP

The Directors and all members of the Trust were deeply saddened at the news of the death of Dr Frank Murray, on 31 March, 2018, aged 76. Led by An tUachtarán Michael D. Higgins, tributes have been paid by all quarters following his death.
Dr Murray served as Secretary-General to the Government from 1993 until his retirement in 2000, during the crucial period which led to the signing of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. After his retirement he held a number of key positions with the Public Appointments Service, the Parnell Society, Concern and the Institute of Public Administration. Following his retirement, the Government appointed Dr Murray as Co-Commissioner of the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains (ICLVR), for more than a decade. Dr Murray was a founder member of The Military Heritage of Ireland Trust (CLG), and remained as a member of the Board of Directors since his initial election in 2000. Dr Murray’s experiences, service and expertise were instrumental in shaping the Trust’s ethos, vision, mission and objectives. Our thoughts are with Dr Frank Murray’s family, former colleagues in the Civil Service, The ICLVR, The Military Heritage of Ireland Trust (CLG), and friends – May he rest in peace.

Honours Lists

On behalf of the Trust, the Chairman formally conveyed sincere congratulations on the inclusion of Mr Peter Baillie, a member of the Board of Directors, in H.M. Queen Elizabeth II’s New Years Honours Lists for 2018. Mr Baillie’s richly deserved British Empire Medal recognises his commendable and noble service to the Defence and Veterans communities.

The Directors noted that Terry Colligan, who together with his wife Phoebe, were keepers of the Ulster Tower for 15 years, was awarded an MBE in the New Years Honours List 2018. Terry’s MBE comes shortly after his daughter Carol Walker, a Director at The Somme Association, received her MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2017.

Governance

As a Company Limited by Guarantee and not having a Share Capital, the Trust implements the provisions of appropriate legislation, including the Companies Acts 1963 to 1999, and the Trust’s Memorandum and Articles of Association. As a voluntary body, the Trust is not engaged in commercial activities. The Trust’s annual return to the Companies Registration Office was submitted by our Auditors in June 2017. The Directors’ Report and audited Annual Financial Statements for 2017 will be formally presented at the 18th Annual General Meeting on the 29 May 2018. The report and financial statements will be made available to the Revenue Commissioners on request. In order to comply with best practice as a Charitable Trust, our Annual Financial Statements for 2017 will be posted on the Web Site in June 2018.

The Trust’s Annual Internal Data Protection Audit for the period ended 31 December 2017 will be noted by the Directors during its May 2018 meeting.

Cooption of Directors

In accordance with Article 35 of the Trust’s Memorandum and Articles of Association, Ms Etain Doyle and Brigadier-General Liam MacNamee (Retd) formally conveyed their decision to resign their positions as Directors w.e.f, 23 May 2017. In accordance with Article 49 of the Trust’s Memorandum and Articles of Association, the Board formally co-opted Brigadier-General Paul Fry and Ambassador Frank Cogan (Retd) as Directors w.e.f. 24 May 2017. The newly co-opted Directors will be put forward for formal election to the Trust’s Board of Directors at the 2018 AGM on 29 May. The Chairman conveyed the Board’s sincere appreciation of the significant contribution made by both Ms Etain Doyle and Brigadier-General Liam MacNamee (Retd) in pursuant of the Trust’s objectives.

Activities

Since the 2017 Annual General Meeting, the activities of the Trust included: Directors’ Meetings; liaising with museums, veterans associations and regimental associations, and participating in ceremonies, lectures and seminars.
The Trust had an active involvement in the National Day of Commemoration in July 2017, and hosted a lunch in the Master’s Quarters of the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, for Northern Ireland attendees, which is funded by the Department of An Taoiseach. Reinforcing the cross-border nature of the Trust’s activities, attendees included representatives of the Royal Irish Regiment, Combined Disbanded Irish Regiments Association, the Somme Heritage Centre, the Royal Irish Fusiliers Museum, the Royal Inniskillen Fusiliers Museum, and the RUC Federation.
The Trust was represented at events such as: Lunch in honour of Mr & Mrs Terry Colligan, Keepers of the Ulster Tower for 15 years, Numerous receptions hosted by the British Ambassador to Ireland, Annual 1916 Commemoration, IUNVA’s Annual Peacekeepers Commemoration, Reception marking the departure of the French Ambassador to Ireland, Annual Ceremony of Remembrance, Islandbridge, Garden Party hosted by the NI Secretary in Hillsborough Castle, Unveiling of VC Commemorative Stone, honouring Sgt John (Jack) Moyney VC, Irish Guards, Wreath Laying Ceremony, honouring Cpl Nolan ONUC in Grange Con, Armistice Day Ceremonies in Glasnevin, and Ecumenical Service of Remembrance at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
All registered members of the Trust and their respective spouses were included in the application for invitations from An Taoiseach to the National Day of Commemoration Ceremony, which is taking place in Collins Barracks Dublin, (note change of location), on Sunday, 08 July.

Military Heritage Annual Award

Since 2010, The Trust presented an Award, increased to €500 for the 2016 Award, to the undergraduate student whose paper was deemed outstanding by a panel of judges, and which, through new research, added to our knowledge of Ireland’s military heritage. During its February 2018 meeting, the Trust’s Board of Directors announced the 2017 winner of the Military Heritage Annual Award, in memory of Major Charlie Trainor MM. The Board selected Mr Mark Scannell’s paper titled “Four Irish Catholic Generals in Victoria’s Army”. Mr Scannell is a graduate of National University Galway. From Galway, he is completing a PhD programme in History. Mr Scannell’s paper can be accessed on the Trust’s Website. The Chairman will present the 2017 award to Mr Scannell during the Annual General Meeting on 29 May.

The Directors formally acknowledged the involvement of Dr Pádraic Lenihan NUI Galway for overseeing the notification and submission process, and the three Judges:
Dr Niall Ó Ciosáin – NUI Galway, Doctor Ian Speller – NUI Maynooth, and Professor Eunan O’Halpin – Trinity College.
The 2017 competition was the last in the series, and has been replaced with the “The Military Heritage Research Bursary”.

The Military Heritage Research Bursary

The Trust is funding an annual bursary to an individual conducting original and innovative research into an aspect of Irish military heritage and the Story of the Irish Soldier.

The Terms of Reference for the “The Military Heritage Research Bursary” were approved by the Directors on 26 September, 2017. The Bursary was formally launched on 18 January, by mans of News Bulletin 1/2018. The Terms of Reference can be accessed on the Trust’s Website.

The amount of the bursary will reflect the Trust’s financial resources and, in some cases, could be determined by a legacy provided to the Trust. Subject to available finances, it is envisaged that the bursary will be awarded on an annual basis. The initial bursary will be an ex-gratia payment of €500.
The product of each bursary will be an academic paper between 4,000 and 5,000 words excluding footnotes and bibliography. The paper will be formally presented by the author at an appropriate forum, such as seminars and workshops, as decided by the Trust. Completed work will become the property of the Trust for distribution and publication, as appropriate.
The bursary commemorates Major-General P.F. Nowlan (Retd) RIP, a founding member of the Trust, who was elected its first Chairman (1999 – 2011), and remained as an active and highly respected member of its Board of Directors (1999 – 2015).

Endorsement – 2020 Vision – Inniskillings Museum

Arising from a formal request from Lieutenant-Colonel Mark Scott MBE DL, the Trust provided a formal endorsement of the impressive vision for the further development of Enniskillen Castle as a heritage hub, and in particular, the ambitious plan to redevelop the 1829 Barracks as a contemporary museum for the Inniskilling Regiments.

Publication – Somme Nursing Home

One of the Trust’s objectives is to encourage and facilitate research into our shared military heritage and disseminating the results of such studies by means of seminars, lectures and publications.
“Craigavon House – Caring for Veterans Through the Decades”, written by Philip Orr, was commissioned by the Trust in memory of Mrs Moreen Rawson, who left a bequest in her will requesting it to be used to commemorate veterans and women in ancillary military services. Mrs Rawson had an enduring interest in the role of women supporting the medical and nursing services, and especially in convalescents. She worked at Craigavon House which is now called the Somme Nursing Home.

The Trust sees the publication of “Craigavon House – Caring for Veterans Through the Decades” as a means of promoting a wider awareness of Ireland’s military heritage. The Trust extends its sincere thanks to Mr Philip Orr for undertaking the commission and for producing an absorbing account of the role and experiences of both the medical staff and patients who were part of Craigavon House, and whose service and sacrifice richly deserve to be honoured and commemorated by all. During the month of February 2018, copies of the publication were provided to the Trust’s membership. A scanned version of the publication was posted on the website.

Royal Irish Fusiliers Old Comrades Association

Following a request from Colonel Arthur H. Reid OBE, the Trust facilitated a visit by the Royal Irish Fusiliers Old Comrades Association to McKee Barracks on 21 September. The programme included a visit to the Equitation School and Coffee in the DFHQ Officers’ Mess. The Chairman commended the Trust’s Secretary Lieutenant-Colonel Eamonn Fogarty (Retd) who coordinated the visit. Before McKee Barracks, the party visited the Air Corps Museum which was organised by Brigadier-General Paul Fry (Retd).

Web Site

By means of the Web Site and News Bulletins, the Trust endeavours to enhance public knowledge of its vision, mission, objectives, activities, current projects, military heritage and upcoming events. The Trust’s Web Site is professionally managed by its Webmaster Sergeant Michael Burke, Defence Forces CIS Corps. As a result of vulnerabilities outside of the Trust’s control, the website was compromised, and became non-operational from 15 January through 18 March. Following appropriate action, including saving the data base and plug-ins, the recovery of the website’s domain and negotiating a new hosting platform, at the request of the Directors, Lieutenant-Colonel Stuart McNamara, supported by the Webmaster, successfully transferred all the material to the new hosting platform over St Patrick’s weekend. The website is now fully restored with enhanced firewalls, and became operational on 18 March.

During 2017, 43 News Items were posted on the Web Site and details of 99 events were inserted on the Web Site Calendar. In 2018, the Terms of Reference for the Military Heritage Research Bursary, 2 Digging up the Raj articles, 6 News Items were posted on the Web Site, and 52 events were posted on the associated Calendar.

All items posted on the Web Site, such as News Items and Events, are captured on Facebook and the Trust’s Twitter account. Concurrently, they are circulated to our Facebook and Twitter Followers. The Twitter tag is @militaryheritag

By means of Flickr, the Web Site’s Media Gallery facilitates the posting of a limitless number of photographs on the site. The account now has 109 Albums, an increase of 24 since the 2017 AGM. Recent postings include: Armistice Day Commemoration – Glasnevin, Remembrance Ceremonies – Enniskillen, Annual Remembrance Service – Dublin, The Passchendaele Salute 2017, and Unveiling of Blue Plaque, Private James Duffy VC, Donegal.

News Bulletins

In order to retain an appropriate interface with the Trust’s membership and like-minded individuals, the publication of items on the Web Site is communicated by means of a News Bulletin. During 2017, six Bulletins were promulgated: 09 February, 16 April, 03 May, 06 July, 11 August, 29 October and 11 December.

By means of News Bulletin 1/2018, the Directors formally launched the Military Heritage Research Bursary.

The second News Bulletin for 2018 was issued on 21 March and included the Trust’s recent publication: “Craigavon House – Caring for Veterans Through the Decades”, the Second Phase Mission Statement 2017 – 2023 for the Decade of Centenaries, two Digging Up the Raj articles, details of the 2017 Military Heritage award, and an updated Events Calendar for 2018.

156 individuals received Bulletin 2/2018. On account of the size of the attachments, if your email account was unable to receive this particular Bulletin, please advise the Trust’s Secretary for a second and reduced email delivery.

Military Service Information

Through its Web Site and Contact Information, the Trust actively assists families, researchers and students throughout Ireland and worldwide world, to access information on the military service of relatives, friends and individuals.

Whereas the Web Site was non-operational for a period during 2017, military heritage queries received covered a range of issues such service in Mullingar Barracks, the Leinster Regiment, Mounted Escort and the Connaught Rangers.

Corporate Video

The Directors are exploring the feasibility of acquiring a professionally produced corporate video, introducing the Trust and its range of actives, including research. This marketing and information tool could be used as a valuable communications asset and posted on electronic media such as websites and You Tube. A Working Group is advancing the process, including the selection of an appropriate company for the production of the video package, based on the required specifications and quotations.

Decade of Centenaries

The Government successfully implements the Decade of Centenaries programme in an informed, inclusive, measured and reflective manner, commemorating significant events that shaped the history of the island of Ireland one hundred years ago. Reconciliation is a key element of the Government’s programme, ensuring that the decade fosters renewed and strengthened cooperation between the communities and traditions on the island of Ireland, whilst reinforcing North-South and East-West relationships.

The Military Heritage of Ireland Trust remains proactive in supporting the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht, the Government’s Expert Advisory Group, the Glasnevin Trust, the Defence Forces and other appropriate Government Departments, agencies and organisations. The Trust welcomes the Expert Advisory Group’s Mission Statement for the second phase of Decade of Centenaries covering the period 2017 through 2023. This mission statement was included in the Trust’s News Bulletin 2/2018 and is posted on the website.
During 2017, specific events associated with the Decade of the Centenaries included:

  • Ceremonies on Ireland and Belgium in June marking commemorating the centenary of the Battle of Messines,
  • State Commemoration in honour of Francis Ledwidge on 24 June,
  • Annual Ceremony of Remembrance and Wreath Laying in the Irish National War Memorial Gardens, 08 July 2016,
  • National Day of Commemoration, 09 July
  • The State’s Commemoration of the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, on 9 July, in conjunction with the Royal British Legion,
  • Salute to the Battle of Passchendaele, 31 July,
  • State Commemoration in honour of Thomas Ashe, on 22 September
  • Passchendaele Salute on 10 November,
  • Glasnevin Armistice Day Commemorations, on 11 November, and
  • First World War Remembrance Ceremonies on 12 November.

In the context of the Decade of Centenaries, the Trust’s membership may wish to note that the 12th June 2022, marks the 100th anniversaries of the handing over of the Regimental Colours in Windsor Castle, and the 31st July 2022, the formal disbandment of six Irish Infantry Regiments and the South Irish Horse. 2022 also marks the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the National Army. The Trust’s Directors will be exploring realistic options to mark the centenary of these historic events.

Irish Infantry Grove

Dedicated in 2000, the Irish Infantry Grove at the National Memorial Arboretum in England, honours and commemorates soldiers who served in Irish Infantry Regiments which were disbanded in July 1922. Personnel of these Regiments served and some made the ultimate sacrifice in foreign lands such as Belgium, Burma, Canada, France, Gallipoli, India, Macedonia, Malta, Middle East, and South Africa.

The Trustees of the Royal Irish Regimental Charities have taken the lead role in redeveloping the Grove. Since 2015, within its competencies, the Military Heritage of Ireland Trust has frequently engaged with the appropriate authorities on this initiative. Currently, the Directors are engaging with the Department of An Taoiseach.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Trust’s Directors are currently focussing on activities associated with the Decade of Centenaries, enhancing partnerships with stakeholders such as Museums and Regimental Associations, advancing the Military Heritage Research Bursary, consolidating membership, and through its Web Site, promulgate the latest news and lists of events, and further develop the support provided for research.
I look forward to working with all Directors, our Company Secretary, Legal Adviser and Auditors, in further advancing the Trust’s objectives, in order to promote and preserve Ireland’s unique military heritage for future generations.

Finally, I will welcome the opportunity of engaging with members of the Trust during the 18th Annual General Meeting, scheduled for 29 May, at 1430 hours, in the Lecture Theatre, National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks, Dublin. Lieutenant-Colonel Andrew Hart OBE (Retd), has kindly accepted an invitation to be our Guest Speaker, on the following theme:”Museums Consolidation: Securing the Heritage of the Irish Soldier in the British Army”.

Brigadier-General Paul A. Pakenham (Retd)
Chairman
April 2018

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