The Irish Soldier 1913 to 1945 Exhibition & Hugh O’Flaherty Photographic Exhibition

The Irish Soldier 1913 to 1945 Exhibition & Hugh O’Flaherty Photographic Exhibition

26 October 2011

On Saturday 5th November, to coincide with the Hugh O'Flaherty Memorial Weekend, the Killarney Outlet Centre is organising an extraordinary exhibition in memory of ‘The Irish Soldier’ 1913 to 1945, with a special visit from The Irish Solider Collection and the Irish Volunteer Commemorative Organisation. 

Along with the exhibition, there will also be a Photographic Exhibition on the life and times of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, a Killarney native who saved over 6,500 lives in World War II.

The Photographic Exhibition will be officially launched by Stephen Walker, biographer of the Monsignor at 5pm on Friday 4th November and the “Irish Soldier” Exhibition will take place in the first floor mezzanine in the Killarney Outlet Centre on Saturday 5th November from 10am – 5pm.

This unique free event will capture the imagination of the whole family as the Irish Solider Collection and the Irish Volunteer Commemorative Organisation will bring Irish history to life with a detailed re-enacting of what went on during the war.

Spectators will also get the chance to view items of Irish history that are usually only seen in museums, complementary of the Irish Volunteers, Free State Army, Irish soldiers of the British Army and  Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC).  Also a very rare British Aux K Company uniform will be displayed which may send a shiver down Corkonians spines –the  burning of Cork City was carried out by the K Company in retaliation for an IRA ambush on 20 auxiliaries!

Highlight on Saturday will be,  Jim Herlihy, leading authority of the history on The Royal Irish Constabulary, who will give an intriguing lecture on the RIC at 12pm & 2pm , whilst Mairtin Mac Ciarrain will give a talk on the Irish volunteers and will also carry out an exciting weapons demonstration where shoppers on the day will have the chance to handle fire arms from this interesting period of history! The Killarney Outlet Centre has always played a part in the Hugh O’Flaherty Memorial Weekend as it is the annual venue for the Monsignor’s Photograph Exhibition and was one of the first organisations to support the efforts of the Hugh O’Flaherty Memorial Committee when it was first founded in 2008. 

Paul Sherry, General Manager at the Killarney Outlet Centre, is really looking forward to the event: “We wanted to plan something more this year around the Hugh O’Flaherty Memorial Weekend, to give people an experience of what it was actually like for people during war time and thought the Irish Volunteer Commemorative Organisation would be perfect alongside the old archive photographs from World War II.”

Paul also went on to state “You don’t have to be a history boffin to enjoy this wonderful event as there will be something for everyone. I have heard great reviews on the organisation and my kids and their friends are extremely excited about the event too, and of course getting up close to actual artefacts some of which are over a hundred years old!”

Gerard McCarthy, Event Organiser for The Irish Soldier 1913 to 1945 Exhibition stated “Since a child I have always had a special interest in the History of Ireland, so much so it was even my dream to be an Irish Soldier one day. I have been collecting items of Irish history for the last 10yrs, and love sharing these great finds at our exhibitions.”

There will be a chance for the young soldiers in the audience to have their photo taken with a uniform and memorabilia for just €4, which will help fund future events as everyone involved in the organisation are volunteers.

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