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  • Irish Army Observer Corps

    Can anyone tell me when the Observer Corps was finally disbanded?

    Have been doing a lot of geeky reading up on the Cold War & Ireland over the last few months - have found that they were formed in 1961 & were to liaise with CD & GS in the event of MAD.

    Guessing it was around the time that the UKWMO/ROC went?

    Relevant Dáil debate:
    http://oireachtasdebates.oireachtas....1?opendocument

    UKWMO Setup in the 60's:

  • #2
    Well in the 1995/6 reorg, D Reserve assumed responsibility for the Observer Corps functions so I suppose around then.

    The Observer Corps was only really the HQs, the bodies were provided by the RDF.

    http://oireachtasdebates.oireachtas....0?opendocument

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    • #3
      Grim times - but found a funny link on google:
      http://michaelotoole.biz/?p=847

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      • #4
        Originally posted by DeV View Post
        Well in the 1995/6 reorg, D Reserve assumed responsibility for the Observer Corps functions so I suppose around then.

        The Observer Corps was only really the HQs, the bodies were provided by the RDF.

        http://oireachtasdebates.oireachtas....0?opendocument
        If I remember correctly there was an observer Corp/ unit at Griffith Bks in 1977?? . We went there for a day as part of the std. NCOs course . They has some sort of a handheld radition detector and a plotting system in place. If memory serves me right their flash was a heron or Crane holding a stone in one of its claws, Could be wrong about the flash but somehow i seem to remember something like that, .. For all ye young chaps the squadron used to be Griffith in those days after they left Cathal Brugha.

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        • #5
          My old sub-unit has all the equipment.

          There were a number of national RADMON (I think is the term) exercises between 2005 and 2010 that we were involved in

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          • #6
            I did the basic course one time when a few of us were at a loose end on an FCA camp in Fort Davis. Radiation monitoring and recording of the flash of a nuclear explosion and there was also a national network linked by radio. Interesting enough.

            regards
            GttC

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            • #7
              I linked this video a little while back:
              http://euscreen.eu/play.jsp?id=EUS_1...20AAE56E88DFFA

              From my reading of public sources - it doesn't seem like there was anything on the scale of the ROC setup in the UK, they had 1500+ permanently staffed mini shelters, but we just had a few dotted around the country for officials/monitoring to come on-line during heightened tensions.

              A pretty alarmist article on the shelters from 2001:
              http://www.thefreelibrary.com/NUKE+A......-a078505749

              The old CD shelter in Kildare was sold off recently.

              GTTC: who decided on which poor bloke had to go out and retrieve the blast plot paper?

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              • #8
                I still have my notes about it somewhere....
                The CD used to have regular exercises with the DF in the early 80s, normally on a sunday morning, when the russians would launch random warheads.

                What advantage knowing the yield of a nuclear impact would provide in the long term was never really explained though.


                Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

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                • #9
                  Long term, feck all - short term, working out where was blown to pieces & where fallout was going to fall.

                  Were there sirens/maroons issued to warn the public?

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                  • #10
                    Nope.
                    Just monitoring equipment.


                    Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

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                    • #11
                      I vaguely remember seeing a RPI book on dealing with the fallout at home, never opened...think it was given out to local authority engineers at one stage
                      Everyone who's ever loved you was wrong.

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                      • #12
                        I got the impression that the nuclear threat wasn''t taken very seriously until the Cuban missile crisis, when the observer corps was set up, as a panic measure, and then was more or less neglected until 2001, when loads of iodine tablets were acquired .

                        Thinking was that there were so few strategically important sites in Ireland, save shannon and a few in the north, that most of the problems during a nuclear was would come from fall out from attacks on the U.K. But hopefully the prevailing winds would blow all of that over the Uk and back towards Europe and away from us.

                        For me the funniest thing was reading in the government booklet produced along with the iodine tablets that after years of whinging about sellafield, they then turned around and said " don't worry, if there is an accident than it will not come near us as the prevailing winds are south westerly.
                        Last edited by paul g; 14 February 2013, 20:00.

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                        • #13
                          And if a missile missed!

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                          • #14
                            Interesting film, would fancy being the bloke who got sent up to change the cassettes!

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                            • #15
                              The only guy with a functioning anti-radiation suit, ie FCA boiler suit.

                              regards
                              GttC

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