Firefighters remember fallen colleagues

Commemorating Firefighters Memorial Day at NIFRS headquarters in Lisburn with a ceremony in memory of fallen colleagues.
Commemorating Firefighters Memorial Day at NIFRS headquarters in Lisburn with a ceremony in memory of fallen colleagues.

The Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) commemorated Firefighters Memorial Day with a special ceremony in memory of fallen colleagues.

The annual Firefighters Memorial Day is marked across the UK and was established last year under the authority invested in the Firefighters Memorial Trust by Royal Charter.

The ceremony, held at NIFRS headquarters in Lisburn on Friday, May 4, provided an opportunity to remember and pay tribute to firefighters who have died in the course of their duties.

In addition to the annual reading of the Roll of Honour and observing a minute’s silence, memorial stones were dedicated and wreaths were laid in memory of Leading Firefighter Joe McCloskey, Firefighter Paul O’Brien and Firefighter Nial Hamilton.

Leading Firefighter McCloskey lost his life in the line of duty at an incident at the Gorteen House Hotel, Limavady in November 2003. He was based at Dungiven Fire Station.

Omagh-based Firefighter O’Brien died in a road traffic collision in Castlederg in February 2009, while Firefighter Hamilton, from Lurgan Fire Station, died of natural causes while on operational duty in February 2014.

Chief Fire & Rescue Officer, Gary Thompson presented Firefighter Memorial Medals to family members of Firefighter O’Brien and Firefighter Hamilton.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Thompson said: “It was important to us to mark Firefighters Memorial Day with a formal ceremony in recognition of our fallen colleagues. It was a moving ceremony as we remembered those no longer with us.”

The memorial stones are located around the memorial statue called ‘The Rescue’ outside NIFRS headquarters.