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Irish veterans mark D-Day

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  • Irish veterans mark D-Day


    By John Breslin
    NO more than a dozen Irishmen from the South who served with the British Army on D-Day have so far come forward to declare they will return to Normandy for the 60th anniversary celebrations in two weeks.
    Irish veterans who took part in the landings were invited to apply to join a flotilla of ships making the journey across the English Channel on June 6.

    But more than a month after the launch here of the British National Lottery-funded Heroes Return scheme, the British Legion said yesterday about a dozen had contacted its Dublin offices. There is still time for veterans to contact the office, district administrator Pam Alexander said.

    It is not known how many from the 26 counties fought in the Second World War but at the end of 1943 there were 43,500 Irish-born men in the services.

    The Heroes Return programme provides grants for veterans, their spouses or carers to revisit the part of the world where they served. Some took part in the D-Day landings but many others saw action in north Africa and the Far East.

    They can travel any time up to the end of 2005 and application forms have been sent out by the British Legion to 450 ex-servicemen.

    Before their eventual success, Ms Alexander and her colleagues in the Legion’s Dublin office faced an initially frosty reception from their counterparts in the UK when they asked that those born here be included in the scheme.

    Some 10,000 British soldiers, including a number from the North, are expected to make the journey to Normandy.

  • #2
    Heroes Return

    It is emerging that WW2 figures for Irish servicemen were very large indeed. Over 100,000 citizens of the then Free State enlisted in the British Army plus RAF, RN, other Comonwealth forces and US Forces.

    Military Heritage Tours Ltd is honoured as being the only Company in the Republic recognised and requested to partake in the Heroes Return programme. We are taking veterans with us among our group of 40. In fact the demand is such that we are putting on an extra tour in September. For those of you who would wish to avail
    of this superb trip, do not wait until the last moment. Plan now and secure your place NOW. We have just come back from Belgium on our WW1 trip and it was superb. I am sure word will filter out shortly.

    In any case contact for more info