Saint Barbara: The Artillery School’s Annual Prayer Service

‘Be at the bursting doors of doom and in the dark deliver us’

The Artillery School’s Annual Prayer Service in honour of Saint Barbara, Patron Saint of The Artillery Corps and Gunners worldwide, took place on Thursday 30 November 2023, in The Artillery School, Defence Forces Training Centre, Curragh, County Kildare.

The Statue of Saint Barbara and the Artillery themed ironwork were relocated from Magee Barracks Kildare, which was evacuated, along with Murphy Barracks, Ballincollig, Co Cork, 25 years ago this year to the Curragh Camp.

The School Commandant, Lieutenant-Colonel Noel Maher welcomed all attendees which included Brigadier-General Brian Cleary GOC, Colonel John Whittaker, EO Defence Forces Training Centre, Lieutenant-Colonel Shane Bradley Combat Support and ISTAR Directorate, personnel of The Artillery School, and numerous retired Gunners of all ranks.  Members of the Artillery Club were also in attendance.

Captain Brian Clarke was the Master of Ceremonies, and an overview of Saint Barbara was presented by Gunner Byrne.  Thereafter, Fr P.J. Somers CF and Rev Earl Story CF conducted the Prayer Service at St Barbara’s Monument.  On behalf of The Artillery Corps, Brigadier-General Brian Cleary laid a wreath at the Monument.  The ceremony concluded with the firing of the two Miniature Guns by Captain Patrick Molloy, Ordnance Corps.

Both serving and retired Gunners of all ranks adjourned to the NCOs’ Mess for an enjoyable reception hosted by The Artillery School.

Photographs courtesy of Brigadier-General Paul Pakenham (Retd)

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