The Artillery Club’s Field Trip to The West commenced with a visit to Custume Barracks on Thursday, 22 June where the participants were formally received by Lieutenant-Colonel Dermot Hanifin, Regimental Commander 2 Artillery Regiment. Following lunch in the Officers’ Mess, the Group was provided with a comprehensive brief on Regiment’s activities and was brought on a conducted a tour of its Headquarters, including the Keogh Room, and its gun park.
The 2 Artillery Regiment is the lead unit for the 56 Infantry Group deploying to UNDOF on the Golan Heights in September 2017. Corporal Eivers, 2 Artillery Regiment, demonstrated the RBS 70 simulator and briefed the Group on the recent Air Defence Live Firing Practices which took place in Sweden during the month of May.
Participants then visited the 2 Ordnance Group where the President and Colonel Conor Fitzsimons (Retd) provided a brief on the significant role in Irish history and the pending conservation of an 18 Pounder Mark 2 Field Gun, recovered from West Virginia in August 2016 (see Newsletter 3/2016).
Having arrived in Galway, attendees booked into the Connaght Hotel, availed of the hotel facilities and enjoyed a communal dinner, before retiring at an appropriate hour.
On Friday 23 June, the group was welcomed to Dún Uí Mhaoilíosa by the Officer Commanding 1 Cathlán Coisithe Lieutenant-Colonel Kevin Campion and received a brief on the unit’s activities.
After coffee, the group actively engaged in a round table discussion “Reminiscences of 5 Field Artillery Regiment” led by former Regimental Commanders: Colonel Brian O’Connor (Retd) and Commandant Jack Burke (Retd), ably supported by former Battery Commanders: Commandant Hugh Duffy (Retd) – 4 Battery, Commandant Larry Hynes (Retd) HQ Bty, Commandant John Murray (Retd) – 7 Battery and Commandant Gerry Lyons – 13 Battery and Commandant Tom Wholihan. A former Gunner of the Regiment – Colonel Conor Fitzsimons (Retd) and Commandant Mick Duffy (Retd) enhanced the reflections and memories of times past.
Following lunch in the Officers’ Mess, the Group was provided a conducted tour of the Military Museum by Sergeant Maloney its Curator.
The Club remains grateful of opportunity of visiting the 2 Artillery Regiment and availing of the hospitality of Dún Uí Mhaoilíosa. Presentations were made to the 2 Artillery Regiment and to the Officers’ Mess Dún Uí Mhaoilíosa.