Wexford UN veteran is 'poster boy'
AT the age of 65, U.N. veteran Piercestown man Edward P. Doyle has become a 'poster boy' for the 'Blue Helmets News', a magazine produced for the French-based Soldiers of Peace International.
A uniformed and be-medalled Edward appears on the front cover of a recent magazine in a picture taken at the U.N. Headquarters in Geneva where he received a gold commemoration medal for his 25 years of service to the SPIA.
Edward, who served in the Irish army between 1966 and the early 1970s, saw U.N. peacekeeping service in Cyprus in 1968 and after returning to Ireland was posted to Longford in 1969, where he was among troops patrolling the border with the north.
He is the founder of the Irish U.N. veterans in Wexford and recently became vice-president for Northern Europe for SPIA.
'Ireland and myself were the first to join the French veterans after their formation and we now have 30,000 members in 15 countries,' he said.
Edward trained as an army ranger, although he said his first choice was transport, although he never got into transport and instead became a gunner with an artillery unit.
He said that when he left the army, he began work with heavy plant and drilling and then went to the Continent, the United States and Canada for more than 30 years 'driving big trucks'. The Irish president of the SPIA, he is to visit its HQ in Lyon in May, before heading to Geneva to attend U.N. Veterans' Day.