The Irish Air Corps celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the handover of Baldonnel Aerodrome today.
On the 3rd of May 2022, many veterans, distinguished guests gathered along with serving personnel from the Irish Air Corps and the Defence Forces for a historical occasion to mark the 100th anniversary of the handover of Baldonnel Aerodrome from the Royal Air Force to the Irish Air Service, as it was known on the 3rd May 1922.
The Air Corps Guard of Honour was marched back through the gates of Baldonnel led by its own Pipe Band and members of the Defence Forces School of Music. In front of the runways and the open fields of Baldonnel, the Defence Forces Chief of Staff Lt General Sean Clancy greeted everyone with words of gratitude and of encouragement for the future of the Defence Forces.
General Officer Commanding the Air Corps and Director of Military Aviation, Brig General Rory O’Connor took to the podium. During his speech, he acknowledged those who had lost their lives in service and who had passed away after service. He also acknowledged those on parade and those who had served in the Air Corps down through the years, “Each and every one of them, and all of you here today, have played a part in the Air Corps and its history, and we should all be very proud of that.”
Two wreaths were laid in memory of those Defence Forces members who died in service by DF COS, Lt General Sean Clancy, while GOC AC Brig General Rory O’Connor laid one for those Air Corps members who died in service. This was followed by the playing of Last Post and then the raising of the National Flag and the pipe band played Amhrán na bhFiann. To finish there was a flypast by two PC9M directly overhead of the event.
For more information on the history of the Air Corps please visit: https://www.military.ie/en/public-information/defence-forces-museums/defence-forces-history/history-of-the-air-corps/
Photos by Wayne Fitzgerald