The Commissioning ceremony of the 89th Cadet Class for newly appointed army officers took place in the Defence Force Training Centre at the Curragh, Co. Kildare yesterday. The ceremony began with the marching-on of the colours. The colours are made up of the National Flag of Ireland and the Cadet School Colour.
Minister for state at the Department of An Taoiseach and the Department of Defence, Paul Kehoe TD was accompanied by the Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Conor O’Boyle at the ceremony.
These 23 cadets come from diverse backgrounds across the country. They completed a demanding and challenging 15 months of basic officer training, which prepares them for when they take up appointments as junior leaders throughout the army and in the Malta.
The 89th Cadet class consists of twenty males and three females, 21 of who were commissioned as new Irish Army officer and two as Maltese Officers. Each new army officer took an oath of allegiance in which they swore to be ‘faithful to Ireland and loyal to the constitution”. The new Maltese officers received a certificate of graduation.
Each officer cadet is invested with their rank markings and received their sword from an officer of the defence Forces. They then marched forward to the Minister of State Paul Kehoe TD, where they were presented with their Commission as an Officer.
During the ceremony, nine awards were presented to cadets, as part of the Cadet School Awards ceremony.
The Lt General William Callaghan Sword trophy was awarded to the overall best cadet in Tactical Exercise and Practical Leadership. The winner of this award was 26 year old Cadet Cathal Sweeney; from Ballinasloe, Co. Galway.
The Cornel Justin McCarthy Trophy is awarded to the best individual debater. This award was presented to the Cadet School in February 1963. The winner of this award was 25 year old Cadet Cian Clancy from Clonakilty, Co. Cork.
The Lieutenant Kieran Murphy trophy is awarded to the best overall sports person. Lt. Murphy was a member of the 51st Cadet Class, who died tragically in a road accident and the trophy was presented by his classmates. The award goes to 26 year old Cadet Siobhan Tierney from Rathcoole, Co. Dublin.
The Second Lieutenant Malachy Ó Comhradhe Trophy is given to the best overall debater in Irish. It was presented by the 41st cadet Class in 1968 in memory of their classmate who died tragically on 5 December 1968. The winner of this award is 27 year old Cadet Seamus Shannon, from Clonmel, Co. Tipperary.
The Sergeant Major Scanlon Sword was presented by Sergeant Major Tony Scanlon, formwr cadet school sergeant Major. It is awarded to the cadet who best promotes ‘Esprit de Corps’ in the Irish defence Forces. The winner of this award was 24 year old Cadet Patrick Wilson from Raheny, Dublin.
The Cadet Andrew Green Trophy was presented to the winner of the 10k Road Race, Cadet Andrew Green was a member of the 35th Cadet Class who died in service as a Cadet. The winner of this award was 21 year old Cadet Thomás Bell, from Portmarnock, Co. Dublin.
The Cadet Marksman’s Cup is awarded to the cadet who received the best overall combined shot in the Steyr Assault Rifle, the general purpose machine gun and the Heckler and Koch universal self-loading pistol. This award went to Cadet Cathal Sweeney.
The Lt Col Eddie Condon Trophy was first presented in 1975. T is awarded to the best section as directed by the commander. The winners of this award were Cadets 20 year old Adam Doyle from Kilkenny, Seamus Shannon, Cathal Sweeney, 26 year old Grainne Kenneally from Kilworth, Co. Cork and 24 year old Karl Muckian from Dundalk, Co. Louth.
The ARCO Sword award is the perpetual sword award, presented by the Association of Retired Commissioned Officers. This award is given to the cadet who achieves first place in the class. The sword was first presented in 2001 and is presented by Brig General Liam MacNamee to the wining Cadet, 23 year old Fionn McCaffrey from Grange, Co. Sligo.
This class was centrally involved in the 2013 State Ceremonial Programme and the ceremonies to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the visit of US President John F Kennedy to Ireland and his death. Five members of the class travelled to Washington as part of these ceremonies.
The newly commissioned officers of the 89th Cadet Class will now take up duty with the Irish defence Forces as junior leaders throughout the Army and in Malta.