Grandad Pat’s Army Days
By Ava Phelan, 6th Class
My Grandad Pat Phelan is 70 years old and he was in the army for 24 years.
He first joined the army in August 1970, and left in May 1994.
He started in McKee barracks in Dublin. He was stationed there for 4 years. He enjoyed the 4 years in McKee barracks Dublin. Then he was stationed in James Stephens barracks in Kilkenny for 20 years.

He was a driver in the army. Part of this driving involved cash escorts, the army would drive in front and behind the cash delivery vans, delivering cash to the banks. Also helping to escort prisoners from court to Portlaoise prison.

He worked on border patrol on the northern Ireland border. Keeping watch on who was crossing between North and South of Ireland. Being away from home for weeks.
The army also worked helping the Garda when there were bank robberies and kidnappings. Sometimes they spent weeks looking for people.
He spent time away from home training in the Glen of Imaal in Co. Wicklow.
What really stands out is his mission overseas to Cyprus when he was only 18 this happened in 1972. The mission was to provide peace between the Turkish and the Cypriots. The island of Cyprus was divided and still is divided by a wall. The Turkish lived on one side of the wall, and the Cypriots lived on the other side. The Irish Army made sure both sides didn’t cross the wall. They also had to bring guns and machinery over the wall safely.
My grandad Pat joined the army because there was very little work in Ireland. At the time, people went to England to work for or joined the army.
He really enjoyed his time in the army. There was great camaraderie and he made friends for life. This was the best part of his job making friends for life.
The worst part of the job was being away from home and family. Sometimes being away on Christmas, Easter or birthdays. It was hard on my Granny Mary minding 3 children on her own while Grandad Pat was away. It was also hard for my Dad, auntie and uncle but all together my Grandad loved his time in the army.

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