Seamus Byrne, a Carlow man from JKL Avenue, was awarded a commemorative medal in recognition of 76 years of Military Service a number of weeks ago.

Seamus was presented with the medal for Frontline Emergency Security Service by his colleagues in Post 29 Irish United Veteran’s Association.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar also paid tribute to Seamus in a letter that was read out by John Kelly at a special reception at the Eire Og clubhouse.

The event was attended by a large crowd of Seamus’s comrades from Post 29 IUNVA and members of his family.where they were treated to a short biography of his long career in the armed forces.

Hos Military career began back in 1944 when he joined the No 1 Company, Local Defence Force (LDF), based in Burren Street, Carlow.  The first person he met when he went to sign up was Paddy Bolger, Seamus informed him that he was 16 years of age, whereas, in fact he was a mere strip of a lad of 14! Little did Mr Bolger know that he’d still be sewrving 44 years later.

Seamus went to his first summer camp, held in Courtown Co Wexford, in 1945 but soon afterwards the LDF was disbanded and replaced with the Forsa Cosanta Aitiuil (FCA) to which Seamus signed up.  He was a member of that organisation – locally called the 10th O’Hanrahan Battalion from 1946 right up to 1990, when he retired with the rank of Company Sergeant.

He always enjoyed their annual summer camps and visited all the Military Barracks in Ireland.  His time in the camps is among his fondest memories throughout his life. But even after his retirement from the FCA after 44 years of service, he still hadn’t enough, so he immediately joined the Lt Kevin Leeson Branch of ONE (Organisation of Ex-Servicemen and Women) in Carlow, of which he’s still a member.

Seamus also made lifelong friendships through his military service.  He always enjoyed a drink with his great friend, the much loved and late-lamented Jim Slattery, along with his other comrades and pals Hugh Kelly and Murt O’Leary.  Indeed the foursome were such stalwarts of Carpenters Pub on Barrack Street, Carlow that their usual table was always reserved with a sign for Dad’s Army!

Seamus now 90 years old, has served a total of 76 years in the armed forces.  He’s an associate member of IUNVA, whose members hold him in high esteem and they organised the medal presentation for him in Eir Og.

Seamus and the Byrne family would like to thank sincerely all those who organised the medal and letter of recognition and anyone who helped out in any way.