Australian and New Zealand National Day of Remembrance commemorated in Kilkenny

Australian Ambassador Gary Gray And Michael Gaskin, New Zealand deputy Head of Missions , pictured with Donal Croghan,The chairman of the Kilkenny Great War memorial committee and invited guests at Anzac Day celebrations at The Peace Park in Kilkenny

A report from The Kilkenny Observer Newspaper at the Peace Park in Kilkenny

In the early 19th century one of the accepted rules of purchase at Tea Auctions was that buyers could place bids until the level of the candle reached as far down as the pin, at which stage the pin would fall out.

If there were no more bids at this stage, the room would be silent and you would be able to hear a pin drop.

Hence this English idiom was born!

And so it was on Sunday April 23 when dignitaries, invited guest and members of the public gathered at The Peace Park in Kilkenny to honour soldiers from Australia and New Zealand who served and died in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.

Following the ‘Ode of Remembrance’ (read in English by Bobby Kearney and in Maori by Robert Brown) a minutes silence was called.

This in turn was followed by The Last Post, Reveille, and then the national anthems of Australia, New Zealand and Ireland.

Army personnel, members of the Gardaí and Fire service took the salute as Charlie Parsons played each anthem on the trumpet.

Anzac day was remembered with the dignity and respect it deserved.

The Kilkenny Great War Memorial committee can take a well-deserved bow.

Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders “who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations” and “the contribution and suffering of all those who have served”.

The 25th of April 2023 marks the 108th anniversary of the Australian and New Zealand landings at Gallipoli (now known as ANZAC cove). The sacrifice made by both countries during the eight-month long Gallipoli campaign quickly began to symbolize the emergence of their national identity.

This identity exemplified by ANZAC day, The National Day of Remembrance in Australia, and New Zealand.

The Kilkenny Great War Memorial stands testament to over 830 men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice during the Great War.

Included on its panels the names of 20 ANZAC soldiers and one nurse (Kathleen Power), all who were from Co Kilkenny.

Surnames like, Mulroney, Deevy, Dunphy, Doyle, Butler, Purcell, Leahy, Power, and Langton all bear testament to Kilkenny roots. Parish of origin include St Johns, Clara, Paulstown, Graignamanagh, Callan, Freshford and Aghavillar to name but a few.

Each year, on April 25 Australians and New Zealanders come together to honour their people who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations.

ANZAC stands for “Australian and New Zealand Army Corps” and is one of the most important national celebrations across Australia and New Zealand.

123 people from Kilkenny served in the Anzac forces. Twenty-two soldiers and one nurse died.

The Kilkenny Great war memorial stands testament to eight hundred and thirty men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice during the Great War. Included on its panels are the names of Anzac soldiers and one nurse (Kathleen Power) all who were from Kilkenny. These names were read aloud by Berni Egan, Tony Parker and Robert Browne.

Thanks from Australia and New Zealand

Speaking at the event, the Australian Ambassador Gary Gray thanked the organising committee for hosting the event and said he was delighted to attend the event,

Michael Gaskin, Deputy Head of Mission from the New Zealand Embassy said that Anzac day was so very special for all New Zealanders and to see Kilkenny hosting such an event was very touching.

Chairperson of the Kilkenny Great war memorial committee, Donal Croghan said that his members were delighted with the positive response from those who attended the ceremony. “We are lucky to have such local support in order to help us have a professional standard of Ceremonies”, said Mr Croghan.Donal paid a special word of thanks to his committee who put in a great effort each year on various projects.

The day was complemented by the attendance od Charlie Parson ( trumpet) Tony Coy ( piper) The Sospiro choir, Sean O’ Neill, (conductor), and organist Natalia Sabitova.

Laying of wreaths

Wreaths were placed at the war memorial by the following:

Cllr Matt Doran, Gary Gray, Australian ambassador to Ireland; Michael Gaskin, Deputy head of missions, New Zealand Embassy; Cllr Eugene McGuinness; Commandant Jim Murray, James Stephens Barracks; Cllr Andrew McGuinness; Paddy Horohan, Kilkenny Great war committee; Tom Burke, MBE RDF Combined Irish regiments; John Collins, chief Fire Officer, Kilkenny; Superintendent Aidan Brennan, Kilkenny Gardaí; Bobby Kearney, President ONE; Gus Hennessy, on behalf of the Turkish community; Tony Watson, Lisbeelaw, South Fermanagh world war society.


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