The Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Clyde Road, Dublin, was the setting for a June 25th presentation ceremony commemorating the 60th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War recognising the service of Irish veterans who fought to defend the freedom of the Republic of Korea at which Ambassador Chang Yeob Kim presented Korean War service medals and certificates to Irish veterans and relatives of veterans who served during the Korean War. The ceremony marked the culmination of an effort by the Embassy of Korea to honour Irish veterans of the Korean War.
Those who were presented with the Korean War Service Medal and Certificate included –
· Andrew Coleman on behalf of his father John Coleman
· Elizabeth Farrell on behalf of his father Michael McSherry
· Deborah Hutchinson on behalf of her father Brendan Hutchinson
· Michael Keogh Snr on behalf of his brother Daniel Joseph Keogh
· Bernard Mulhall on behalf of his brother Christopher Mulhall
· Donal O’ Connell on behalf of his uncle Alphonsus O’Connell
· Aubrey John Bunyan
· John Joseph Clarke
· Canon Thomas Robert Jennings
· Michael Kehoe
· Michael C. Kelly
· Thomas William O’Keefe
· John Oliver Powell
· Kevin Wood
· John Hawkins
Two veterans were in attendance and who will receive their medals in the coming weeks were
· John Taheny
· Thomas McKenzie.
The Korean War Veterans Association issues the Korean War Service Medal and Certificate. The Certificate is co-signed by Mr. Yang Kim, Minister for Patriots and Veterans Affairs, and Mr. Se-Hwan Park, Chairman of the Korean Veterans Association. This medal was first authorised as the Incident Participation Medal in December 1950 to South Korean troops who had participated in the initial counter-assaults against North Korean aggression in June 1950. In 1954, the South Korean government authorised this medal, now called the Korean War Service Medal, to all U.N. troops who had fought in the Korean War between June 25th 1950 to July 27th 1953. Up to 1999 members of the U.S. armed forces were precluded from receiving or wearing this decoration until the regulations in force with regard to receiving and wearing foreign decorations were amended to allow the receipt and wearing of this decoration. In 1999 the South Korean government proposed the decoration to be reactivated and awarded retroactively awarded to all Korean and U.N. veterans who had served in the Korean War.
In April 2001 the Korean War Service Medal was authorised for distribution and wear by serving members of the British Commonwealth forces including the New Zealand Defence Force.