The Irish Air Corps has its primary airbase at Baldonnel, Co Dublin. It is the air component of the Irish Defence Forces, providing military support to the Army and Naval Service. Aside from the military support the Irish Air Corps also provides air services for An Garda Síochána, air ambulance, fishery protection and transport for government ministers.
General Michael Collins, Arthur Griffith, Robert Barton, Éamonn Duggan and George Gavin Duffy went to London in 1921 to negotiate the terms of the Anglo-Irish Treaty. If the negotiations failed there was a possibility that General Collins and other members of the Irish delegation could be detained by the British. With this in mind the Irish side secretly purchased a Martinsyde Type A Mark II bi-plane in September 1921. The plane was kept in readiness at Croydon airfield to take the Irish delegation out of England should the negotiations fail. However the Irish representatives, with plenipotentiary status, signed the Anglo-Irish Treaty on December 6th 1921.
In June 1922 the bi-plane was brought to Dublin. It was named ‘The Big Fella’ and became the first aircraft the National Army Air Service which was established in July 1922. The National Army Air Service was gradually expanded and by the end of 1922 had ten aircraft and 400 personnel. In 1924, after the civil war had ended, the army was re-organised and the Irish Army Air Corps was established. Today the Irish Air Corps has 27 aircraft and over 850 personnel.
The Irish Army Air Corps was established in the year 1924 On This Day.
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