Welcome

Welcome to the Website of the Association of Retired Commissioned Officers (ARCO). ARCO was founded in 1993 and our purpose is to represent retired officers of the Permanent Defence Force of Ireland. We have some 800 members. Our main focus has always been on pension issues and our website enables us to provide members with information on this, along with details on a broad range of issues and events. To communicate effectively with our members we also publish two Newsletters every year, hold an Annual General Meeting in October and have developed a Texting Service.

To be successful, ARCO needs a continuous flow of new members and we urge serving officers, who are about to retire from the Permanent Defence Force, to join. ARCO will provide you with a continuity of representation and information into the future.

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Lt. Col. John Costelloe RIP

ARCO regrets to inform its members of the death of Lieutenant Colonel John (Johnny) Costelloe of Castleknock, Dublin and formerly of Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny. On September 25th, 2016, peacefully, in the loving care of the staff at Mount Hybla Nursing Home. Beloved husband of Jill and dear father of Enda, Dermot, Eimear, Cormac and Niamh and a devoted grandfather of Emma, Lucy, Tom, Meg, Joe, Cliona, Aoibhín, Derry, Laoise, Charlie, India and Chloe. Deeply regretted by his loving wife, sons, daughters, grandchildren, son-in-law, daughters-in-law, brother Jim, sister Anne (Thurn), nieces, nephews, relatives, former colleagues from the Defence Forces and a wide circle of friends.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Reposing at his home on Tuesday evening between 6 and 8 pm with removal to The Church of Our Lady Mother of the Church, Castleknock on Wednesday morning arriving for Requiem Mass at 11 am followed by burial in Balgriffin Cemetery. Family flowers only, please. Donations if desired to The Morning Star Hostel for homeless men, North Brunswick Street.

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The Irish Military College, 1930 – 2000

 

On 15 September, Mr Paul Kehoe TD, Minister responsible for Defence, launched The College: The Irish Military College, 1930 – 2000, by Colonel Tom Hodson, in Collins Barracks Dublin.

Since its establishment in 1930, the Irish Military College has had a vital influence, not only on the Defence Forces, but on the nation itself.  In his book Colonel Hodson, a former instructor in the Military College and a graduate of École de Guerre, Paris, recounts how from its early predecessor, the Army School of Instruction, the Military College has repeatedly re-invented itself, culminating in the requirement for this modern institution to embrace and impart instruction based on the needs of today’s Irish Defence Forces.

The College is published by the History Press Ireland and is available from bookshops and online at: http://www.thehistorypress.ie/The-College__p-708.aspx

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ARCO Wreath Laying Ceremony – 7 October, 2016

ARCO WREATH LAYING CEREMONY

GARDEN OF REMEMBRANCE – FRIDAY, 7 0CTOBER 2016

Introduction

The Association of Retired Commissioned Officers (ARCO) will conduct a formal and solemn Wreath Laying Ceremony in the Garden of Remembrance on Friday, 7 October 2016, commencing at 1200hrs.

The ceremony will remember, honour and commemorate the participants in the 1916 Easter Rising and will also recall the involvement of ARCO members who participated in the commemorations marking the 50th Anniversary of the Rising in 1966. The 39th and 40th Cadet Classes marched in the Easter Parade on 10 April 1966 and the 39th Cadet Class provided the Guard of Honour at the dedication of the Garden of Remembrance on Easter Monday, 11 April 1966.

Ceremony and Reception

The Ceremony will incorporate appropriate prayers, reflections and music. After the solemn laying of a wreath by ARCO’s President, Commander Gerard O’Flynn (Retd), a minute of silent reflection will be observed, which will be followed by a Piper’s Lament, the rendering of the Last Post, the raising of the Irish Flag to full mast, the rendering of Reveille and the playing of the National Anthem. 

The expected duration of the Ceremony is 30 minutes.

A reception for all guests, participants and attendees will take place immediately afterwards in the Gresham Hotel, O’Connell Street.

Invitations and Attendance

The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Representatives of the Government, Oireachtas, Defence Spokespersons and Defence Forces, along with representatives of kindred organisations, will be formally invited to the ceremony.  

The main cohort of attendees, however, will be drawn from the ARCO membership – including members of the 39th and 40th Cadet Classes & Class Officers who paraded in April 1966.

General Invitation to ARCO Membership

ARCO members, along with their families and friends, are invited and encouraged to attend. Members should indicate their intention to attend, by Friday, 23 September 2016 please, through the following means:

 

General Matters

All attendees are requested to be seated by 1140hrs to facilitate the arrival of dignitaries between 1145hrs and 1150hrs.

Dress is Informal with Medals. Should adverse weather require the wearing of overcoats, medals should not be worn on the outer garment. As this is an outdoor event you are advised to come well prepared for all weather conditions.  

Dedicated car-parking is not available at the Garden of Remembrance for private vehicles. A set-down facility will be available at Parnell Square North, which will also be the location of the ambulance station. Entrance to the ceremony is through the Parnell Square North gate (opposite the Hugh Lane Gallery) which leads directly to the upper level plinth. This is where seating will be provided for attendees in the designated area left and right of the Children of Lir Sculpture.

As this is a national event, organised by ARCO for its members, it is important that we have an appropriate turnout on the day. We therefore look forward to seeing many old friends and comrades in the Garden of Remembrance on Friday, 7 October 2016.

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ARCO 22nd AGM – 14th October 2016

ASSOCIATION OF RETIRED COMMISSIONED OFFICERS

22nd Annual General Meeting – McKee Barracks

1130hrs, Friday, 14th October 2016 

AGENDA

  • Opening Address by President, ARCO
  • Minutes of 21st AGM – 02 October 2015
  • President’s Report
  • Report of the Hon. Secretary
  • Report of the Hon. Treasurer to include audited A/Cs
  • Report of the Hon. Membership Secretary
  • Appointment of Auditor
  • Elections to Executive Committee
  • Any Other Business

 

Note:

Coffee will be available in the Officers Mess from 1030hrs.

The Meeting will take place in the auditorium of the Defence Forces School of Catering at 1130hrs.

Lunch will be served (free of charge) at 1300hrs in the Officers Mess.

It is important that members notify their intention to attend in advance to the Hon Sec not later than Friday 25th September as failure to do so may cause security difficulties at the point of entry to McKee Barracks.

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Veterans’ Day 2016

The 2016 Veterans’ Day takes place on Saturday, 10th September in McKee Barracks, Dublin.

Veterans’ Day reaches out to honour retired members of the Defence Forces and all Veterans have been invited. The Minister for Defence, the Chief of Staff and the General Staff will be in attendance.

A shuttle bus service will be provided for Veterans from Busáras, and from Heuston and Connolly Railway Stations, to McKee Barracks (and return) beginning at 1030hrs.

Guests will have access to McKee Barracks from 1100hrs and parking will be available.

A Ceremonial Parade, presided over by the Minister for Defence, will take place at 1400hrs. ARCO, along with the other veterans’ organisations, has been invited to provide a Representative Body to participate in the ceremony. This will consist of a short multi denominational religious service along with the laying of wreaths to honour fallen comrades.

Refreshments will be served from 1430hrs and a wide range of Military Displays will be on view from 1530hrs.

We ask that as many ARCO members as possible attend this event and in particular participate in the parade.

We look forward to seeing you in McKee Barracks on the day.

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Dates For Your Diary

ARCO members will wish to note the following important upcoming events, full details of which will be posted on this website closer to their individual dates.

Saturday, 10 September – Veterans’ Day, McKee Barracks. The 2016 Defence Forces Veterans’ Day will take place on Saturday, 10 September in McKee Barracks, Dublin. Veterans’ Day reaches out and honours retired members and their families.

ARCO, along with the other veterans’ organisations, has been invited to provide a Representative Body to participate in the ceremony. This will consist of a short multi denominational religious service along with the laying of wreaths to honour fallen comrades. The event will provide an opportunity to meet old friends and comrades. A wide range of displays, including current Defence Forces’ equipment and systems, will be held in conjunction with the event. Light refreshments will be served and guests are invited to arrive by 1330hrs.

Friday, 7 October – Wreath Laying Ceremony, Garden of Remembrance. ARCO will conduct a formal and solemn Wreath Laying Ceremony in the Garden of Remembrance on Friday, 7 October, commencing at 1200hrs. The purpose of the ceremony is to remember, honour and commemorate the participants in the 1916 Easter Rising. The ceremony also recalls the involvement of our membership, highlighting that of the members of the 39 and 40 Cadet Classes, in the commemorations marking the 50th Anniversary of the Easter Rising in 1966.

The ceremony will incorporate appropriate prayers, reflections and music. After the solemn wreath laying, a minute of silent reflection will be observed. This will be followed by a Piper’s Lament, the rendering of the Last Post, the raising of the National Flag to full mast, the rendering of Reveille and the playing of the National Anthem.

ARCO will formally invite representatives of the Government, Oireachtas, Defence Forces, etc. to the ceremony. Members, along with their families, are encouraged to attend and will be invited by means of our newsletter, text service and this website. The expected duration of the ceremony is 30 minutes. A reception for guests, participants and attendees will take place immediately after the ceremony in the Gresham Hotel, O’Connell Street. Guests are invited to be in place at the Garden of Remembrance by 1140hrs.

Friday, 14 October – Annual General Meeting, McKee Barracks. The 22 Annual General Meeting of ARCO will be held in McKee Barracks, Dublin, on Friday, 14 October. Members will be asked in a later posting to notify our Honorary Secretary of their intention to attend. This is in order to facilitate entry to McKee Barracks and to provide the Officers Mess with our catering requirements. Coffee will be available in the Officers Mess from 1030hrs and lunch will be provided after the meeting. This is an important annual event in the ARCO calendar, which affords members the opportunity to engage directly in the formation and shaping of ARCO policy.

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ARCO Wreath Laying – National Memorial

Between 16th July and 20th August this year a Ceremonial Military Guard will parade every Saturday at midday (and at 9.30 am on 30th July only) at the National Memorial to Members of the Defence Forces who died in the Service of the State. Units from throughout the Defence Forces and across the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service will participate in the ceremony in solemn remembrance of their fallen comrades.

On 23rd July ARCO will participate in the ceremony and our President, Commander Gerard O’Flynn (Retired), will lay a wreath on behalf of the Association. ARCO members, along with their families, are invited to attend to honour old friends and comrades. On that Saturday 1 Artillery Regiment, Collins Barracks, Cork and Naval Service, Haulbowline, Cork will provide the Ceremonial Military Guard.

The National Memorial was unveiled by President Mary McAleese in November 2008. It is a place of contemplation and remembrance where families, relatives and members of the public can reflect on the sacrifice these soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen have made for this State.

Further information can be found at this LINK.

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Curragh Race Day – 17th July 2016

ARCO members are invited to join friends and colleagues on Sunday, 17th July, for the Defence Forces' Race Day at the Curragh Racecourse with 7 exciting races along with displays of Defence Forces’ vehicles and equipment, including the most iconic vehicle in Irish history, Sliabh na mBan.

A dedicated turnstile will operate at the main entrance for Defence Forces’ personnel, serving and retired.  ARCO members should have their ID Card with them to gain free admission for themselves and a guest.

Package 7 race programme starting at 2pm featuring the Kilboy Estate Stakes (Group 2) and Friarstown Stud Minstrel Stakes (Group 2) and Corinthian Challenge Charity Race in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund.

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Cathal Brugha Barracks

The Mess President, Officers' Mess, Cathal Brugha Barracks, has extended an invitation to ARCO members and their guests to a BBQ to mark the departure of the GOC 2 Brigade, Brigadier General Michael Beary, as Force Commander UNIFIL. 

The BBQ takes place on Thursday, 30th June and tickets are €15. Cocktail Bar opens at 1830 with food served at 1930 followed by a DJ and Music.

Interested members should contact the Mess before next Tuesday, the 28th at 01 804 6460 or e-mail cbbofficersmess@gmail.com

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ARCO Members’ Briefing – Dublin

An information meeting for ARCO members will take place in the Officers’ Mess, Cathal Brugha Barracks, at 1130 hrs on Friday, 17 June.

Coffee will be available from 1100 hrs. The Executive Committee will update members on matters of broad interest in relation to Association matters.

Please indicate your intention to attend, by return, to arcoreply@eircom.net or by text only to the ARCO Texting Service at 087 9097860. A light lunch will be provided by ARCO.

Please ensure you bring your ID Card with you to gain entry to Cathal Brugha Barracks.

 

 

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