Irish Defence Forces - Myths and Legends!

thebig C

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Hey Gang

In most European and developed countries the process of procurement is very standardised, the relevant military submits a list of equipment and generally they get it. The only debate usually centres on quantity. In Ireland, the wisdom goes, the DF think of what they need.....then the capibility is slashed by 200%, the quantity is reduced by 50% and finally the maximum budget is divided by 10.....and thats what we end up with!!:)

Possibly, as a result of this ad-hoc procurment system, over the years there have arisen various stories and folklore regarding items which the DF looked for and never got, or we were about to buy and the deal fell through, or we were offered something as a type of foreign assistance but the Government demured. Some of these legends are seemingly true.....others are fantasy!

Whilst posting on the thread regarding the new OPVs for the NS I was very impressed by the depth and knowledge displayed by some of the posters regarding Irish military affairs and very much enjoyed some of the anecdotes regarding facets of DF life!

Some rumours have been confirmed to me, other haven't, thats why I am proposing a Q&A thread regarding all the "what might have beens" in the DF over the years!

Obviously, anything posted should pertain only to historical events and not anything that might effect current operations;)

Ok, I will get the ball rolling with this nugget.....

I was told that in the late 1960s when it was obvious the Flower Class Corvettes needed replacing that the Government had agreed to buy a 340ft frigate which had been sitting idle in the UK. This ship had been ordered by Kwame Nkrumah to serve as flagship of the Ghanian Navy along with Presidential Yacht. Construction was nearing completion when he was overthrown in 1966, and subsequently the new government of General Ankrah refused to accept the vessel because of the cost. It then sat tied up at the quayside awaiting a buyer! I dismissed the Irish angle as BS until I did a little research....I found out that the Government actually announced an intention to purchase in December 1968, and further, confirmed this in Dail questions in early 1969!!!

Dil ireann - Volume 242 - 20 November, 1969 - Ceisteann—Questions. Oral Answers. - Corvettes.

Subsequently....as we know nothing came of this and the NS was reduced to a fleet of zero! Black Star as the frigate was known went on to serve in the RN as HMS Mermaid and later as KD Hang Tuah with indonesia!

So, anybody know the rest of the story?

C
 


seanmacc

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Don't know about that story in particular.

I can tell you though that the Irish military got themselves about 5 or 6 humvees that the U.S just left behind when they pulled out of Liberia (My brother was on that mission)

They used them for a number of days when they were there and supposedly then they were shipped back to Ireland and now their location is unknown.

There is also a myth that in some bunker somewhere that there is several A10 tankbusters that somehow found their way to Ireland when the yanks were on the way back from Vietnam. At the time the yanks were throwing helicopters, planes and tanks into the sea on the way back to the US as it was more expensive to transport them and mothball them than build new ones. That could be a DF myth but I've heard this one been mentioned by a few lads on a number of occasions
 

Grumpy Jack

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During the recent helicopter procurement for the Air Corps, the DF wanted the US Blackhawk. The Rangers had operated with them in Timor and loved them.

The US offered a deal, whatever number you buy new (six or eight), we'll give you the same number of surplus machines for free and all you'll have to do is pay to refit/upgrade them to your specs.

DF loved this idea but Willie and the DoD decided to buy six untested new civilian machines, stick in a few military radios and paint them green.

I was told that by a number of army and AC officers.

Apparently, Bertie and FF were afraid of the reaction of the Greens and other crusties that we would be buying American 'helicopter gunships' that were blowing the bejaysus out of Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon.
 

jcdf

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I do not know any rumors about “what might have beens” in the procurement for the Irish Defense Forces. I do know that the Irish government suffers from severe allergies to anything military related. I do not know why this surprises anyone.
 

Catalpa

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I do not know any rumors about “what might have beens” in the procurement for the Irish Defense Forces. I do know that the Irish government suffers from severe allergies to anything military related. I do not know why this surprises anyone.
Probably because of the lack of ex members of the DF in the Cabinet over the years....

With the Greens in Government that situation only gets worse....

The Armed Forces of the State should be doubled and we should develop a military export industry

- we certainly have the knowledge base and international contacts to get this going.

This could be worth billions to the State over time.

With so many Irish out of a job its a no brainer IMO.:)
 

seanmacc

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Probably because of the lack of ex members of the DF in the Cabinet over the years....

With the Greens in Government that situation only gets worse....

The Armed Forces of the State should be doubled and we should develop a military export industry

- we certainly have the knowledge base and international contacts to get this going.

This could be worth billions to the State over time.

With so many Irish out of a job its a no brainer IMO.:)
Supposedly the Irish Army has developed the most sophisticated military radio communication system in the world and have chosen not to share it with anybody. I hear they received approaches from the US and Israel to develop a similar system for their use and refused.
 

Edo

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Myths and Legends - when I heard about the "war games" exercises up in Wickla one year that the DF was so low on ammo and even blanks that the lads had to go around shouting "bang bang" at the opposition.............I though that was pure myth.....then again ya never know............
 

seanmacc

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Myths and Legends - when I heard about the "war games" exercises up in Wickla one year that the DF was so low on ammo and even blanks that the lads had to go around shouting "bang bang" at the opposition.............I though that was pure myth.....then again ya never know............
A former FCA sergeant told me that's exactly what they had to do in the 70's. Blanks cost money and the DF were short of that back then, the permanent defence force weren't subject to that humiliation though apparently.
 

Dunlin3

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There is also a myth that in some bunker somewhere that there is several A10 tankbusters that somehow found their way to Ireland when the yanks were on the way back from Vietnam. At the time the yanks were throwing helicopters, planes and tanks into the sea on the way back to the US as it was more expensive to transport them and mothball them than build new ones. That could be a DF myth but I've heard this one been mentioned by a few lads on a number of occasions
Sorry to burst your bubble on this one but the A10 wasn't around for service in Vietnam!
 

Edo

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A former FCA sergeant told me that's exactly what they had to do in the 70's. Blanks cost money and the DF were short of that back then, the permanent defence force weren't subject to that humiliation though apparently.
Yep - I heard it off the Dad's army lads aswell and that was in the late 80's
 

Éireann go Brách

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The Israel DF sent people to Ireland to learn Irish so they could listen
to Irish DF radio transmissons in Irish when they where deployed with UNFIL in south leb.

heard this in a pub from some leb vets they swore it was true

In my limited time in the DF I never heard Irish on a radio net.
Did they use it overseas.
 

Grumpy Jack

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The Israel DF sent people to Ireland to learn Irish so they could listen
to Irish DF radio transmissons in Irish when they where deployed with UNFIL in south leb.

heard this in a pub from some leb vets they swore it was true

In my limited time in the DF I never heard Irish on a radio net.
Did they use it overseas.
What about the Irish officer giving a warning as gaelige over the IrBatt radio net that an Israeli bulldozer was approaching their hilltop position.

His mind went blank and he couldn't remember the Irish word for 'bulldozer' so he announced there was a 'sleeping bull coming up the hill' to much hilarity back in HQ.

But it had the desired effect....
 

Munnkeyman

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Yep - I heard it off the Dad's army lads aswell and that was in the late 80's
Didn't see many blanks issued when I was with them
in the late nineties/early noughties.
Still using the Bren then as well good old
reliable 1930's technology.
Radio-sets that weighed a ton and rarely
worked (couldn't even order dinner a few times:()
 

hiker

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I remember doing some target practice up in Kilbride with the Reserves back in 1995/96.

I was using a Bren and I was handed a box of ammo, unopened.

It had been packed in 1956, almost 40 years previous.

Squeaky bum time.......
 

gombeennation

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I think I recall one about the MOF in the high court swearing an oath saying he didnt defame a would-be-councillor. Story goes that he DID actually defame the councillor , and a tape was unearthed to prove it ..... but the MOF got away with it anyway. Seems too stupid to be true , but you never know. Anyone hear that one?
 
R

RepublicanSocialist1798

I remember doing some target practice up in Kilbride with the Reserves back in 1995/96.

I was using a Bren and I was handed a box of ammo, unopened.

It had been packed in 1956, almost 40 years previous.

Squeaky bum time.......
Wow they used Brens back then.

My brothers in the Reserves as well and they use Steyr's now.
 

Catalpa

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I think I recall one about the MOF in the high court swearing an oath saying he didnt defame a would-be-councillor. Story goes that he DID actually defame the councillor , and a tape was unearthed to prove it ..... but the MOF got away with it anyway. Seems too stupid to be true , but you never know. Anyone hear that one?
He shot himself in the foot...:)
 

jpc

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During the recent helicopter procurement for the Air Corps, the DF wanted the US Blackhawk. The Rangers had operated with them in Timor and loved them.

The US offered a deal, whatever number you buy new (six or eight), we'll give you the same number of surplus machines for free and all you'll have to do is pay to refit/upgrade them to your specs.

DF loved this idea but Willie and the DoD decided to buy six untested new civilian machines, stick in a few military radios and paint them green.

I was told that by a number of army and AC officers.

Apparently, Bertie and FF were afraid of the reaction of the Greens and other crusties that we would be buying American 'helicopter gunships' that were blowing the bejaysus out of Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon.
Don't you love expediency in politics.
And the goverment it has given us since.
 


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