Monthly Archives: February 2019

Comdt. Art Magennis DSM RIP

ARCO regrets to inform its members of the death of Commandant Art Magennis DSM of Ardagh Court, Blackrock, County Dublin, late of Moore Park, Newbridge, County Kildare and Ardglass, County Down; on 12 February 2019, peacefully, in his 100th year at Maynooth Lodge Nursing Home. Beloved husband of the late Maura and father of Carmel, Mary, Barbara, Maeve and Fiona. Sadly missed by his loving family, brother Tim, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, extended family, relatives, friends and Defence Forces comrades.

May Art Rest in Peace

Art Magennis enlisted in the Defence Forces on 20 June 1940 and served as a Trooper with 2 Motor Squadron in Portobello Barracks, Rathmines. On completion of a potential officers’ course he was commissioned on 21 Feb 1942 as a Temporary Second Lieutenant and posted to 1 Armoured Squadron. He received a Permanent Commission in November 1946 and later served with Depot Cavalry, 4 Motor Squadron and the General Training Depot. He was Squadron Commander 5 Motor Squadron FCA in 1969-70 and Squadron Commander 1 Armoured Car Squadron from 1971 to 1974. Art retired as Staff Officer at the Directorate of Cavalry in September 1979.

He was awarded An Bonn Seirbhíse Dearscna le hOnóir (The Distinguished Service Medal with Honour) for service in Elizabethville with the Armoured Car Group 35 Battalion ONUC in 1961 by showing outstanding courage in going through hostile territory to negotiate for the lives of captured comrades whose execution had been threatened. He completed a second tour of duty in the Congo as Group Commander Armoured Car Group 2 Infantry Group in 1963-64 (this was the last unit to serve with ONUC). 

He served twice in Cyprus with UNFICYP, first as Second-in-Command Armoured Car Group 8 Infantry Group in 1967 and as Group Commander Armoured Car Group 18 Infantry Group in 1970. 

Reposing at his residence in Ardagh Court, Blackrock on Thursday from 2 pm with rosary at 7.30 pm. Funeral mass at 12 noon on Friday in Saint Conleth’s Parish Church, Newbridge with burial afterwards in St. Conleth’s Cemetery, Newbridge.

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O.N.E. – Sleeping Flags Appeal

On Monday, 11 February, the Organisation of National Ex-Service Personnel – Óglaigh Náisiúnta na hÉireann) formally launched its Sleeping Flags Appeal, in order to raise public awareness and aid for the homeless Irish Defence Forces veterans. 

The associated campaign involves veterans, in specially-created Tricolour sleeping bags, deployed around the streets of Dublin.

Dubbed ‘Sleeping Flags’, the symbolic act, which challenges protocols around the treatment and representation of the Irish flag, represents both the homeless veterans who died on Dublin’s streets, which was the catalyst for O.N.E. to establish its first homeless hostel, and the reality facing current and future veterans if the charity is unable to keep its doors open.

To date, O.N.E. has helped hundreds of homeless male and female Defence Forces veterans who have served abroad in conflict zones including The Congo, Lebanon, Syria and the Mediterranean, or at home during The Troubles.  Many come to O.N.E. with depression, disabilities, PTSD, or having suffered family breakdowns, with little support to call on.

Speaking at the launch of the campaign Ollie O’Connor, CEO of O.N.E. stated “Our first homeless hostel opened in direct response to a number of veterans dying on the streets of Dublin.  Since then, we’ve helped over 900 homeless veterans from all over Ireland who could have faced the same situation. These Sleeping Flags are bags we never wanted to make, but if we can’t get enough funding, our veterans will end up back on the streets”.

Set against Ireland’s current homelessness crisis, the preventive services O.N.E. offer are more vital than ever, providing over 16,000 bed nights every year, between Dublin, Letterkenny and Athlone, and with 95% of the veterans they help moving on to permanent housing.

The men and women we’re helping have a special affinity with the Tricolour.  These are fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters and our next door neighbours who joined the Irish Defence Forces to serve their country. When they joined up, they were young fit men and women. They didn’t put up their hands to become homeless veterans.”

For more information on the Sleeping Flags Appeal, or to make a donation to O.N.E. please visit https://sleepingflags.ie/

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