Past and present members of the Irish Defence Forces returned to Rockhill House for a special reunion in 2017
A ceremonial event will take place tomorrow, Sunday at Rockhill House, Letterkenny, to mark the tenth anniversary of the closure of the barracks.
The final march out of the estate by the Irish Defence Forces took place on January 28, 2009.
Current and retired members of 28th Battalion will commemorate the last march with a military parade up to Rockhill House from the avenue.
The Army was stationed at the manor house for 70 years, arriving around the time of the outbreak of World War II, some years after the land was acquired by the State in 1936. Rockhill took on a position of strategic importance as the Troubles flared in nearby Derry in 1969; and operations continued at the site through more peaceful times until the decision was made to withdraw in 2009.
The Defence Forces, and in particular the 17th, 24th and 28th Battalions, form a key part of the rich, layered heritage of Rockhill House and estate, and the importance of that history to the families of current and former soldiers has been plain to see since the restored country manor opened its doors last year.
Owner, John Molloy said: “The parade will be followed by a remembrance Mass for fallen soldiers who were stationed at Rockhill – then we will plant an oak in an area of ongoing cultivation that in time will become a dedicated natural, quiet and reflective arboretum to the memory of those now gone who once served here.”
Mr Molloy added: “We want to pay tribute to that invisible weave of culture, history, stories, memories and beliefs that is Rockhill, A Spirit of Place, in the presence of friends and kindred spirits. We look forward to welcoming anybody who has an interest and affinity with that past to join us for what is sure to be an impressive and memorable event this Sunday.”
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