HUNDREDS of ex-service men and women - many from across the world - marched through the city centre at the weekend for the second annual Veterans International Parade.
Organised by the Patrick Sarsfield Branch of Oglaigh Naisiunta na hEireann, the parade was the highlight of a number of events which included a Mass at the Dominican Church and a wreath-laying ceremony at Pery Square.
“We started it last year for Limerick City of Culture and we are going to continue it on every year and it is nice thing to see people from all over the country and from overseas getting involved,” said Hughie Ryan (65), Farranshone, president of the ONE’s Patrick Sarsfield Branch.
Despite, showery weather conditions, veterans from Ireland, Britain, France, Norway, Poland and the Unites States took part in the parade from Brian Boru Square (outside City Hall) to Pery Square past the reviewing stand at Sarsfield Credit Union.
“I think it’s fantastic, it’s been a great event and it has brought us all together,” said Australian national Phil Hamilton (48), who served with the French Foreign Legion between 1989 and 2004.
Christy Kelleher (52), who served with the Clare 22nd battalion at Sarsfield Barracks said events like the Veterans International Parade are hugely important to ex-servicemen.
“There is great camaraderie between us all, it is a community of people who served and meet talk about things that happened and it’s interesting to meet old comrades who I haven’t met in a few years.
Cllr Michael Sheahan, mayor of the metropolitan district, said he hopes the event can continue to grow in the years to come.
“It’s an absolutely wonderful event, there has been a great turnout of people from all over the world, the laying of the wreaths was very emotional and poignant and we just have to remember all those great people who fought and died in the defence of freedom all over the world,” he said.
Following yesterday’s parade a memorial was unveiled in Coonagh to honour 11 men from the village who died in Gallipoli 100 years ago.