A new memorial in honor of a US navy veteran who hailed from Co. Mayo has been unveiled in his home town.

Born in Ballinrobe in 1862, John King emigrated to the United States and enlisted in the American Navy in 1893. His career in the navy spanned a remarkable 26 years. Deployed several times, John’s was finally discharged in 1919 after his deployment ended after World War 1.

John was awarded two Congressional Medals of Honor for his service to the US navy. He is one of only 19 men to ever receive two such medals of Honor.

Speaking at the unveiling ceremony Minister for Defense, Tony Killeen said: "I am honored to be here today to unveil the John King Memorial. It is a fitting tribute to honor such a remarkable man. John King received the Congressional Medal of Honor on two occasions. It is America's most important award to a person during their lifetime. His story is truly a fascinating one."

The seven-foot bronze statue at The Cornmarket in Ballinrobe was sculpted by renowned artist Rick Lewis. The John King Association already exists in the United States but this was the first time he has been honored in his home country. John passed away in 1938 in the USA and is buried in Arkansas.

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