Grand Master Kim Yong Ho will unveil a special memorial plaque in St Mary’s Garden of Remembrance erected by Thurles Memorial Committee to honour the Irish of the Korean war on Saturday the 2nd of March at 3pm .
During his up-coming visit to Ireland, Korean Taekwonda Grand Master Kim Yong Ho 9th Dan will be the honorary guest of the Durlas Eile Eliogarty Memorial Committee and will unveil a plaque in honour of the Irish men who fought in the Korean war.
He was born in 1941 and displaced to South Korea when the war broke out in 1950. He served as an officer in the Korean army when in 1967 Mr Kim went to Vietnam initially as an advisor to to a Vietnamese army general training the bodyguards and other people responsible for the safety of the Vietnamese Prime Minister.
One hundred and thirty Irish born are know to have died during that war - 29 of them serving with the American army among whom seven Irish Columban Missionary also died between 1950 / 1953.
The effects of this war are still felt across the Korean Peninsula in the memories of a youngster who experienced the massive displacement from the north of Korea and then experienced the war in Vietnam.
Grand Master Kim Yong Ho has a special gift of practicing and preaching reconciliation and forgiveness. As the great Nobel Peace prize winner Ralph Bounche who said in 1950 ‘’ No voice is more qualified to rise in favour of peace than a man who fought in wars.’’
Grand Master Kim will mark the occasion with a tribute to all Irish men and women who served and died in the defence of his country . He currently occupies an advisory role to the Korean President Elect Mrs. Park Geun -Hye.
Attending on the day will be members of the United Nations Veterans associations Oglaigh Naisuinta Na hEireann ; An Garda Siochana; Order of Malta ; Irish Lebanese Cultural Foundation; Deputy Mayor Cllr. David Doran, Thurles Town Council; Rev Father Gerard Hennessy; Members of Taekwonda Ireland; and many other special guests.
If you are free in the afternoon all are welcome to come along to St Marys Garden of Remembrance for this great occasion. You will not be disappointed. The Ceremony will close with the playing of the Last Post and Reville , the Korean Anthem followed by the Irish National Anthem.