War veterans to march through Limerick on parade

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

This will be the second year in a row an International Veterans'  Day parade has taken place in the city
MORE than 1,000 war veterans are due in Limerick this Sunday for the second international Veterans’ Day parade.

MORE than 1,000 war veterans are due in Limerick this Sunday for the second international Veterans’ Day parade.

Organised by the Patrick Sarsfield Branch of Oglaigh Naisiunta na HEireann (ONE), former soldiers will come from all around the world to take part in the parade which begins at 12pm from Merchants Quay, before heading up Patrick Street and O’Connell Street towards the Pery Hotel.

There will also be a number of other events around the main parade to keep the veterans – who will travel from 15 countries – entertained.

Among them will be representatives of the American Legion, the Irish Legion,the French Foreign Legion and the British Royal Air Force.

Before the march, a special mass will take place in the Dominican’s Church at 1pm.

And following the conclusion of the march in Baker Place, a review stand will be set up, with an ecumenical service to take place at 12.45pm.

A minute’s silence will be observed just before 1pm, and wreaths will be laid at the war memorial.

After this, veterans will be invited to Coonagh, which suffered the highest per head level of population losses during the First World War.

There, a memorial will be unveiled to commemorate the 11 men from the village who lost their lives in terrible circumstances on the shores of Gallipoli.

ONE branch secretary Paul Sheehan said: “This is the most inclusive, detailed, comprehensive and far reaching event that our branch has ever undertaken. It eclipses anything that we have ever attempted, and the simple fact is that we could not have managed to get to this stage without the most strenuous efforts that every member put in”.

In the past three months, the Patrick Sarsfield branch has liaised with more than 230 veterans organisations worldwide, as well as handling 4,000 phone calls, and some 13,000 emails in preparation.