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Welcome to the 19 Infantry Battalion F.C.A. Association. Our Association was inaugurated on 11th June 2008 and officially launched by Lt. Gen. Jim Shreenan ( Retired ) on Sunday 27th September 2009 in Boyle. The Association consists of F.C.A. & P.D.F. members of the former 19 Infantry Battalion. The aim of the Association is for members of the former Battalion to keep in contact with each other.
The re-scheduled Annual Mass for deceased members of the former 19th Infantry Battalion FCA will be celebrated on Sunday December 6th at 11:30am. The celebration will take place in St. Clare’s Church, Manorhamilton. All former members and friends of the 19th Battalion are invited to attend.
Thanks to Gerrry Jordan for the following report and to Seamus O'Donnell for the pictures.
Lt Col Sean Flynn, OC 69 Regiment (Fighting Irish) New York visited the 28 Inf Bn in Finner Camp on 21st August 2015. He was accompanied by Mr Hilary Beirne, Executive Secretary St. Patrick’s Day Parade, New York City. On the following day Lt Col Flynn and Mr Hilary Beirne visited the General Michael Corcoran monument in Ballymote and were received by the 19th Bn Association.
Sean Michael Flynn has written a book on the history of the 69th Regiment in New York entitled The Fighting 69th – From Ground Zero to Baghdad which was published in 2007. Both Lt Col Flynn, his predecessors and Mr Hilary Beirne have hosted RDF members of 28th Inf Bn, and previously the 58th Inf Bn, on St. Patrick’s Day in New York over the last six years.
The regiment’s most renowned general was Ballymote native Michael Corcoran (1827-1863) who famously refused to parade his troops for the Prince of Wales in reaction to the British response to the Great Famine in Ireland. Historically the regiment boasted a strong Irish membership. In 2006, New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg officially acknowledged the 69th Regiment’s Sligo link by unveiling a monument to General Corcoran during a visit to Ballymote. The 58th Battalion played a central role during the mayor’s visit and, in return, the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Celebration Committee invited the battalion to march in the 2010 parade. The Battalion has continued to do so every year since.
Each visit to participate in the New York City Parade had its own particular highlight. The 2010 parade had the novelty of being the first time since the funeral of President Kennedy in 1963 that members of the Army marched in uniform in the US. The 2011 parade was an exceptionally unique occasion as it celebrated the 250th anniversary of the New York City parade. Members of the 58th Bn. were accorded the honour of acting as assistants during the annual Mass in remembrance of deceased members of the Fighting 69th in St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
According to Gerry Jordan (Comdt Retd), who led the 58th group on the 2013 visit to New York, the participation of the 58th Bn. in the parade added several new and significant highlights to the Irish Defence Force presence at the parade. In recognition of the continued commitment of members of the 58th Bn. to march in the parade, in 2013 the Bn. were moved up the “line of march” to near the head of the parade. This was an exceptional honour for a visiting parade group and that honour has been extended to the participants at each parade since. Because the 58th Bn. were given a position near the top of the parade, several new elements to the 58th Bn. participation in the post march events and hospitality of the Fighting 69th Regiment, for the first time, became possible. The building of the monument in Ballymote, instigated by John Perry TD, really made the whole thing possible and the visit of Lt Col Sean Flynn was therefore particularly fitting.
The Army Band of the 2nd Brigade, Athlone will perform at a Gala Concert in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Sligo on Friday 16th October 2015 at 8:00pm.
They will be joined by Sligo Cathedral Choir and Edel Shannon, Soprano.
Tickets at 15 Euro may be got from Pat Casey on 086-2547568.
This promises to be a very enjoyable evening.
Pat Casey, Eamon Walsh and Pearse Brady attended this commemoration - Pearse sent this account:
On Sat 22nd August 2015 Cathal Brugha Barracks in Dublin hosted a Commemoration of the Death of Michael Collins at Beal na Blath in West Cork on that day 93 years ago. Quite a number of Veteran's Organizations were represented at the Event including both PDF and FCA. There were speeches by Brig Gen Michael Beary 2 Brigade, Rear Admiral Mark Mellett (DSM) Deputy Chief of Staff and by a member of the Collins family.
Exhibits were viewed and photographs were taken, the centre of attention being that iconic car the Sliabh na mBan which Michael Collins travelled in on his last journey and his date with Destiny. We all queued up for lunch with meal tickets in hand. Eight to each table, memories flooded back and old stories were exchanged. There was a weapons display on the main square and some military vehicles on view.
All those Veterans present were very positive and upbeat about the Day perhaps in the expectation that they would meet again at some similar events in 2016.
31 people attended our Association's visit to Finner Camp. The weather was good which made the day all the more enjoyable. Finner was the camp where the journey in the Forces began for a lot of us. Though it has changed over the years it still retains our memories with the past. We all assembled at 12.30 and then to the dining hall for our first meal of the day.
We watched the 2 o'clock parade much smaller now than in the 1970's and 1980's. Next we went to the gym where there was a display of military weapons. We then were shown what a soldier has going out on the ground on a tactical exercise, sleeping bag, tent, food etc. We visited the new church close to the main gate. It is a very fine building with great attention to detail, of which the 28th Inf Bn must be very proud.
Our final location was the museum housed in what once was the old guardroom. There is a good display of artifacts there, uniform's, weapons, ledgers etc. Our troops were now getting hungry again after their hectic afternoon, so it was back to the dining hall for dinner. Then to the NCO's mess for a chat and home shortly after. We were shown every courtesy during the course of out visit and hope to return there again in the future.
Glad to report that our tour to The Ulster Folk and Transport Museums in Cultra, Hollywood, Belfast on Wednesday 3rd June 2015 was a great success. The feedback was very positive and we are delighted that all enjoyed the day.
An EGM of the Association will be held on Monday 25th May 2015 at 8:00pm. The meeting will be held in the Coach House Hotel, Ballymote, Co. Sligo.
It will discuss the Museum.
Association members attended Mass in St. Joseph’s Church, Boyle
on Sunday 10th May 2015.
The Mass remembered the deceased members of Boyle ex Servicemen’s and Women’s Association and the deceased members of the 19th Infantry Battalion FCA.
The celebrant was Rev. Gerry Hanly P.P.
The Association was well represented at the unveiling ceremony in Ballymote
on Saturday 9th May 2015.
The unveiling of a bronze sculpture of a soldier on horseback is dedicated to the Irish soldiers and nurses who participated in the American Civil War which ended on 9th May 1865. The unveiling was performed jointly by An Taoiseach, Mr. Enda Kenny and Mr. Kevin F. O’Malley, American Ambassador to Ireland.
Afterwards both men met our members and posed for photographs (see below). The MC for the occasion was Mr. Gerry Jordan. The event was favoured with good weather.
The 19th Infantry Battalion FCA Association will visit The Ulster Folk and Transport Museums in Cultra, Hollywood, Belfast on Wednesday 3rd June 2015.
The tour is by coach and will leave Boyle at 8a.m. It will arrive back in Boyle at 9p.m.
On the return journey the tour will stop in Enniskillen for a four course dinner in the Killyhevlin Hotel. There will also be time for shopping and sightseeing.
The cost of the tour is €50 and it includes cost of transport, entry fee to museums and the meal. A non-refundable deposit of €20 is required with each booking.
For further information and booking forms contact Francie 087-2234477 or your Coy rep.
Early booking is advisable as last year’s tour was over-subscribed.
Tickets will be allocated on a first come first served basis.
The 7th AGM of the association was held on Friday 30th January in the Coach House Hotel Ballymote. The meeting observed a minutes silence in memory of Pat Milmoe and Jim Garvey. The officers then presented their reports which were adopted. The election of officers and committee followed.
After the meeting members were joined by their friends for a lovely meal at the same venue.
We are indebted to Aisling Stephenson for the pictures from the function which appear on this site.
Pictured above is the outgoing President Jim Gormley congratulating Seamus Flynn the incoming President.
Pictured above left to right is incoming President Seamus Flynn with past holders of the office Jim Gormley, Francie Geelan and Eddie Doherty.
Photos courtesy Aisling Stephenson.