By Gráinne Ní Aodha, PA
Hundreds of people attended a ceremony on Monday to mark the handover of the Curragh Camp from the British Army to Irish forces a century ago.
Invited guests attended the event at the Defence Forces Training Centre in Co Kildare, including Defences Force members’ families and local school children.
The ceremony involved groups marching in the gates to McDermott Square, and a speech was given by the General Officer Commanding DFTC, Brigadier General Brendan McGuiness, about the historic handover.
Following the speeches, the national flag was hoisted onto the top of the water tower, followed by a flyover past the tower by two PC-9 training aircrafts.
A military display also formed part of the event, and included two Sliabh na mBan cars: the armoured Rolls-Royce vehicles that formed part of the armoured convoy for Michael Collins on the day he was shot dead in August 1922.
Drones that the Defences Forces use in modern times were also on display.
Ready for the commemoration to kick off pic.twitter.com/4PxtFBHYsZ
— Curragh Military Museum (@CurraghMuseum) May 16, 2022
The handover of the Curragh Camp to the Irish Free State took place on May 16th, 1922, when the camp was handed over to Lieutenant General JJ O’Connell and several hundred Irish troops.
At noon that day, Lt Gen O’Connell hoisted the first tricolour flag to fly over the Curragh Camp.
As was tradition, the British troops had cut down the flagpole before they departed the post.
This caused some difficulty for the Irish officers, who reportedly had to physically hold the flagpole while the tricolour was raised.