Irish Veterans members’ association
Kinsale effort focuses on preserving the history of citizen soldiers from Ireland in world conflicts
by Mary Swanton
"For centuries, Ireland has produced warriors who left their homes and fought for their adopted land. Their exploits on and off the battlefield are legendary and this tradition is continued to this day by the Irish and those of Irish Heritage."
Irish Veterans (which incorporates Irish Veterans Historical Research Centre) is a registered not-for-profit based in Kinsale, (CHY14643), dedicated to the remembrance and memorialization of Irish men and women who served in many forces and conflicts down the generations; and, in particular, the identification and remembrance of those who made the ultimate sacrifice, and those who gave their lives in the cause of freedom and peace.
Spearheaded by Declan Hughes in Dublin and James Sikora in Kinsale the aim is to unite all who identify themselves as Irish and who are military veterans, or who are interested in our shared history. "We want to use Irish Veterans as a force for reconciliation and to emphasize our shared military experiences, as well as that of the diaspora said James, "we do not seek to glorify war, but to remember and relate the Irish experience of conflict.
Declan Hughes established the charity Irish Veterans Historical Research Centre Ltd. in 2002, now known as Irish Veterans, and continues working on Veterans research with the aim of seeing an Irish Veterans International Research & Heritage Centre in Ireland. In 2010, he was awarded a Certificate in Business Studies from Ballsbridge College; and in 2013 was awarded a BA (Hons) in International Relations from Dublin City University.
James Sikora grew up in West Cork, Ireland. Joining the US Army (Infantry) after school, he spent 8 years in uniform. He served in various Infantry/Cavalry units in the US, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Former Yugoslavia, completing multiple combat deployments. His awards include the Combat Infantryman Badge and the Army Commendation Medal with combat “V”. He is a Life Member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States and the Disabled American Veterans. Moving back to Ireland as a consultant, James began to seek out fellow veterans of the US and other armed forces. He found the very impressive project to identify the Irish who had lost their lives in the Vietnam War that Declan Hughes had initiated; and the vehicle which supported that research, Irish Veterans Historical Research Centre. One thing led to another and working together with Declan, the idea for Irish Veterans as a global organization took shape
Irish Veterans Massachusetts Chapter in process
(Middleboro, MA) Irish Veterans, a registered Irish non-profit organization is proud to announce the creation of its first US Chapter in Middleboro, MA. A new Massachusetts Chapter will be named in honor of US Army 2Lt Patrick Regan, from Middleboro, Massachusetts who was awarded the Medal of Honor for actions undertaken during WW1 in October 1918. This will be a new and different Veterans organization that focuses on preserving the history of citizen soldiers from Ireland and the sacrifices those of Irish descent gave towards the cause of freedom here in the USA and around the world.
This chapter is being brought to life by US Navy Veteran Kevin J Cook (Ret). Kevin served in the US Navy Reserves for 14 years including 2 active duty deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Kevin’s Maternal Grandparents immigrated to Boston from County Kerry and Leitrim Ireland in the early 20th century. When asked about the mission of this new Veterans organization, Ch#003 Director Kevin J. Cook stated “Our goal is to ensure that our Veterans of Irish Heritage are remembered and that the history of their sacrifices for our freedom are preserved.”
The Irish Veterans Lt Patrick Regan MOH Chapter #003 will cover the State of Massachusetts, and Kevin is working hard to enroll Veterans throughout the State. All Veterans of Irish heritage are encourage to participate and if interested, you may contact Kevin via email at [email protected] or 617-899-2046.