Field Trip 2 to the Artillery School, Curragh Camp & the National Stud, Kildare, TUESDAY 25 April 2023

Consisting of two parts, the Artillery Club’s second Field Trip of 2023 took place on Tuesday 25 April.  Twenty five individuals which included Club members and spouses participated in the most enjoyable Field Trip.

With the kind permission of Brigadier-General Brendan McGuinness, GOC Defence Forces Training Centre, Part 1 consisted of a visit to the Artillery School, coordinated on behalf of the Committee by Colonel Seamus McDermott (Retd).

Following coffee in the Officers’ Mess attendees moved to the Artillery School where they were welcomed by the School Commandant, Lieutenant-Colonel Noel Maher, who provided a comprehensive and informative presentation on the 2022 Operational Capability Assessment conducted by NATO on 1 Brigade Artillery Regiment, supported by the 2 Brigade Artillery Regiment, and the future of the Artillery Corps arising from the Commission on the Defence Forces.

The visit included an equipment display including the 105mm Lite Gun, 120mm Mortar and the RBS 70.  Thereafter, attendees visited the Simulation Room, were briefed on the VBS 3 and witnessed a Fire Mission conducted by students of the 57 Young Officers’ Couse under the supervision of Captain Alex Quigley who is OIC of the Course.

On behalf of the attendees, the Club President Colonel Patrick White the School Commandant and Staff of the Artillery Corps for the informative briefings and hospitality accorded to the Artillery Club during Field Trip 2 of 2023

Part 2 of the Field Trip consisted of a visit to the National Stud of Ireland, Tully, County Kildare, coordinated on behalf of the Committee by Colonel Tom Carter (Retd). On arrival, the attendees had lunch in the Japanese Gardens Restaurant.

Mr David Wardell, Tourism Manager at the National Stud and Gardens conducted a guided tour providing the attendees with a fascinating insight into the operations of the National Stud and the Irish bloodstock industry, and introduced us to the equine residents, including the world’s finest stallions, numerous living legends and many frolicking foals.

Our tour culminated with a visit of “The Irish Racehorse Experience”, during which we were encouraged to purchase, name and train a train a horse, and race our selected horse in a 4D cutting edge racing experience.

The “Irish Racehorse Experience” was presented with a “THEA” for outstanding achievement at an awards ceremony in Anahelm, USA.  The “THEA” Awards celebrate achievement and excellence within the themed entertainment industry.  The Awards are internationally recognised within the themed entertainment industry as one of the most prestigious awards of the global attractions industry.  The Kildare based visitor experience was only one of three non-USA based experiences to secure this award.

On behalf of the attendees, Colonel Tom Carter (Retd) presented Mr David Wardell with the Club’s Plaque as a token of our appreciation for the most enjoyable and informative guided tour of the Irish National Stud and Gardens.

Thereafter, some of the attendees had time to visit the Japanese Gardens, created between 1906 and 1910 by Tassa Eida.

Photographs courtesy of Brigadier-General Paul Pakenham (Retd).

To view Slide Show, please click on any photograph