OVER 40 Naval Service recruits took time out of their training last Thursday, June 20, to tour parts of Waterford City and County, in honour of the Deise man that their recruit class is named after – Navy Sailor Patrick Murphy who was awarded the Medal of Honour back in 1867.
Lt. Cdr. Brian Dempsey told the Waterford News & Star that because the class was named after Murphy he wanted to endorse the links between the Navy and Waterford.
“It’s been a great day,” Lt. Cdr Murphy said. “I contacted Lt. Cdr Eddie Mulligan a short while ago to arrange a day in Waterford so the class could get a break from their training whilst learning a bit more about Patrick Murphy. We started the day with a bit of exercise on the Greenway as one of the policies that we are pushing is ‘healthy body healthy mind’. Their training of late has been intensive so this was a good break for them.”
From the Greenway the class were treated to a lecture about Patrick Murphy from local historian James Doherty before getting a tour of the Viking Triangle.
Lt Cdr. Eddie Mulligan said the occasion was a first for the city and a great opportunity to strengthen he links between the Navy and Waterford.
“When Lt. Cdr Dempsey asked to come down I looked for a suitable day where I could really sell Waterford to the Defence Forces,” he said. “We started on Clonea Beach, walked the Greenway from Clonea to Durrow, lifted and shifted to Coffeehouse in Kilmac so they could taste a local blaa and a coffee and then we walked across the viaduct to Flahavans and then a tour of the Viking Triangle, which included a history of the tricolour and an exceptional presentation by local historian James Doherty.”
The recruits finished the day in the Mayor’s Parlour where they presented Deputy Metropolitan Mayor Jim Griffin with a specially engraved wooden plaque.
Mayor Griffin said it was an “absolute honour” for him.
“With my own marine background I have to say it was an honour and a thrill to deputise as Mayor today,” Cllr Griffin said. “The class have earned their berets and were rewarded with what sounds like an absolutely brilliant day in Waterford. It was great to have them here and it was a mutually beneficial advertisement for both Waterford and the navy.”