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Kev in Deva

End of an Era:- Longford Cavalry Barracks Closes

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Hallo Gents,

thought I would share this with you, as my brother was liucky enough to get permission to photograph the removal of the Longford Cavalry Barracks Comet A34 Tank monument.

Some background info here:-

Last post for Longford barracks.

Thursday, 29 January 2009 22:37

The army barracks in Longford closed this afternoon ending a 200-year military link with the town.

The closure went ahead despite several protests by locals, who expressed concerns about the economic impact of the move.

Soldiers have been based in Longford barracks since the late 1700s, but that long military connection has now come to an end.

The 130 troops marched through the streets of the town for the last time this afternoon, before they were relocated to Athlone.

Longford native and former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds attended the closing ceremonies.

Relatives of soldiers and residents conducted an intensive campaign before Christmas to keep the barracks open. However, the efforts of the campaigners were unsuccessful.

Troops from five military installations faced worrying transfers following October's Budget.

Over the last few days, posts in Lifford and Letterkenny have been shut down and Monaghan Barracks has also closed.

http://www.rte.ie/news/2009/0129/longford.html

Prior to becoming an Irish Defence Force Military installation it was originally a former British Army installation in Ireland.

It was also the home of a Comet Tank A34 which was either purchased as part of a lot of four in late 1958 / early 1959 at 22,000 G.B.P. from the U.K., or from a second group of four in 1960, from the U.K. two being delivered on 26th January and the last two on 2nd February 1960 respectively.

My brother Anthony Ryan with the Comet prior to its removal from Longford Barracks.

Some of the Calvary Force personnel assembled for the removal.

More pictures to follow.

Kevin in Deva. :beer:

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Tears flow as Tricolour is lowered for the last time at Army barracks

Irish Independent

By Eimear Ni Bhraonain

Friday January 30 2009.

THE curtain came down on 200 years of military history in a midlands town yesterday. Tears flowed as the Tricolour was lowered at Connolly Barracks in Longford and the troops of the Fourth Cavalry Squadron departed for the last time.

It's the fourth military barracks to shut its doors in the past week alone following similar closures in Monaghan and Lifford and Letterkenny in Co Donegal as part of a cost-saving measure announced in the Budget last October.

Speaking outside St Mel's Cathedral in Longford town yesterday, former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds said he was "very sorry" to see the soldiers depart.

Mr Reynolds, who is due to receive the Freedom of Longford next month, said he could "understand the changes" that have taken place since the Troubles.

"It's never a right decision. You feel that you don't like to lose anything, no matter what it is, but it's a different world around today than what it was many years ago," he said.

Jacinta Farrell and John McKenna grew up as neighbours in Connolly Crescent, as their fathers were based in the Longford barracks.

"We're very upset now, it's a big loss for the town. My dad came from the Curragh, he was Fourth Cavalry. It's an emotional day," said Ms. Farrell.

Mr. McKenna said the impact of the closure hadn't set in: "The barracks means an awful lot to this town, the businesses, the shops, to everyone. A few months down the line, you'll notice it even more. People are selling houses, they're moving out as well".

Hundreds attended Mass in St Mel's Cathedral to mark the end of the Fourth Cavalry Squadron's presence in the town.

Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise Colm O'Reilly told the congregation: "It has been a wonderful privilege to have an army of people who have integrated so well into life in our town."

There were no job losses in Longford with the 130 personnel moving to Custume Barracks in Athlone, Co Westmeath.

Kevin in Deva. :beer:

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Out the gates in Longford and on the road to its new home in Custume Barracks, Athlone.

Kevin in Deva. :beer:

Edited by Kev in Deva

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Dim ancestral bells aringin'-- isn't Longford one of the "new" establishments that went up during suppression of Wolfe Tone's uprising?

What are they planning to do with the barracks? :banger:

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Hallo Ricky, :beer:

Longford always had a military garrison during the times of the British rule of Ireland.

It was an important stop along the main road from Dublin - Mullingar - Sligo - Donegal.

Here are some more pictures of the Comet making the journey from Longford to Athlone.

Kevin in Deva. :beer:

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http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_02_2009/post-950-1234293981.jpghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_02_2009/post-950-1234294001.jpg

Kevin in Deva. :beer:

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Sgt-Major! whats that little white tin can doing in the "Reserved for Tanks" Space? :angry:

Problem sorted Sir!

Kevin in Deva. :beer:

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http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_02_2009/post-950-1234294511.jpghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_02_2009/post-950-1234294533.jpg

Up! Up! & Away!

Kevin in Deva. :beer:

Edited by Kev in Deva

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http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_02_2009/post-950-1234294762.jpghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_02_2009/post-950-1234294780.jpg

Kevin in Deva. :beer:

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Even more great pictures at no extra expense!! :lol:

http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_02_2009/post-950-1234295277.jpghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_02_2009/post-950-1234295317.jpg

No! I said more to your other left!!!

http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_02_2009/post-950-1234295556.jpghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_02_2009/post-950-1234295582.jpg

Kevin in Deva. :beer:

Edited by Kev in Deva

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To the left of the Comet 34A a French made Panhard A.P.C.

http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_02_2009/post-950-1234296361.jpghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_02_2009/post-950-1234296341.jpg

Point of interest in the distance to the left of the turret original Victorian era cast Iron Water Towers erected by the British Army when the Barracks was in their hands!!

Kevin in Deva. :beer:

Edited by Kev in Deva

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In your face, full frontal!!!

Kevin in Deva. :beer:

Edited by Kev in Deva

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http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_02_2009/post-950-1234296899.jpghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_02_2009/post-950-1234296918.jpg

Kevin in Deva. :beer:

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