With sincere regrets, the Artillery Club advised the extended Defence Community that our esteemed colleague Colonel Michael Shannon (Retd) died peacefully on Saturday 07 April, at University Hospital Limerick. The thoughts of all members of the Artillery Club are with his wife Jean, daughters Caroline, Aoife, and Oonagh, sons John and Michael, extended family including his nephew Colonel Tim Daly, (currently serving in Kosovo), former colleagues in the Defence Forces and friends.
A Family Man, Gunner Officer, Peacekeeper and Gentleman, may Colonel Mick Shannon Rest in Peace.
A native of Kilrush, County Clare, born in 1934, Colonel Shannon was awarded a Cadetship in Óglaigh na hÉireann in 1953. Graduating as a member of the 28 Cadet Class, he was commissioned in 1955 and appointed to the Artillery Corps. As a Gunner Officer, he served with the 1 Field Artillery Regiment, 3 Field Artillery Regiment, the 3 Air Defence Battery and The Artillery School. Colonel Shannon was Regimental Commander of both the 1 and 3 Field Artillery Regiments. His distinguished service also included appointments in HQ Southern Command, and Executive Officer in Training Section, Defence Forces Headquarters.
A founder and proactive active member of the Artillery Club, Colonel Shannon served as Director of Artillery from December 1991 until his retirement in March 1994.
His service in the cause of peace included tours of duty with the United Nations in the Congo, Lebanon and Central America.
In September 1961, as Platoon Commander in B Company 35 Infantry Battalion ONUC, he was engaged in combat at Lufira Bridge with Force Kane, and later in Elizabethville. In the rank of Captain, he served in Cyprus as Troop Commander Heavy Mortar Troop with the 9 Infantry Group, 1967 – 1968, and with the 20 Infantry Group in 1971.
His initial service with UNIFIL was in 1978 – 1979, as Adjutant of the 44 Infantry Battalion. He later returned to Lebanon during the period 1884 – 1985 where he served under UNIFIL’s Force Commander Lieutenant-General Bill Callaghan DSM, and was centrally involved in the “Naquora Talks” between the Israeli Defence Forces and the Lebanese Defence Forces. From 1989 through 1990, he served in Honduras in Central America with the United Nations Mission – ONUCA.
Following retirement, under the auspices of the European Union and OSCE, Colonel Shannon was actively involved in election monitoring and peace transition operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Russia, and South Africa where during the course of his duties he met Nelson Manedala . He was Chairman of the Irish Peace Institute, University of Limerick from 1999 until 2006, was a long time active member of the Limerick Lions Club and President of the Limerick Rotary Club.
Up to 2017, Colonel Shannon sponsored ‘Gunner of The Year‘ in the 1 Field Artillery Regiment presenting the trophy at the Regiment’s Annual Christmas Dinner.
Colonel Shannon’s classmates in the 28 Cadet Class included former Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General G.J. McMahon DSM (Retd) RIP, and Gunner Officers Lieutenant-Colonel T.P. Galvin (Retd) RIP and Lieutenant-Colonel J.H. Murphy (Retd).
Led by Brigadier-General Paddy Flynn GOC 1 Brigade, and Brigadier-General Paul Pakenham President Artillery Club, a large contingent of serving and retired Defence Forces personnel attended the Mass and Burial in Castletroy, on Tuesday, 10 April. Burial afterwards in Kilmurry Cemetery.
The President, Committee and Members of The Artillery Club extending their sincere condolences to Colonel Shannon’s wife Jean, his extended family, including Colonel Tim Daly, his former colleagues and friends.
“But if fate me should call
And in action I should fall
Keep those Limbers a Rolling Along.
Then in peace I’ll abide
When I take my final ride
On a Limber that’s Rolling Along.”
Ar Dheis Dé go raibh a anam Dhílis.