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Salute charity cadets for making the grade

A cadet class that ran from Kildare to Galway and raised €13,000 for charity have been commissioned as officers.

The 86th Cadet class were commissioned at a ceremony at the Defence Forces training centre in the Curragh.

The ceremony was attended by the new Minister for Justice, Equality, Law Reform and Defence, Alan Shatter, and Major General Sean McCann, chief of staff of the Defence Forces.

The cadets raised €13,000 for Crumlin Children's Hospital by running from the Curragh to Galway. In a fantastic feat of endurance and goodwill, men and women from the 86th Cadet Class took part in the East-West Battle Run on February 25.



Delighted

The 192km run was completed in two 12-hour blocks, the first from the cadet school in the Curragh to Athlone, and then from Athlone to Eyre Square in Galway.

Gerry Cully, community funding manager at Crumlin Children's Hospital, told the Herald said: "We are delighted that they chose us as their charity of choice. In the fortnight they will be back in to present us with the cheque and it's something we're really looking forward to.

"There were 36 runners over the two days. They really put a huge effort in it."

Of the 32 new officers commissioned at the Curragh Camp on Thursday, seven were women.

The group included three men from Malta, who had trained with the 86th cadet class over the past 16 months and will, in the weeks ahead, be commissioned as officers into the Maltese armed forces on the basis of completing their training here.

Mr Shatter congratulated the cadets for the commitment they are making to their country at the ceremony on Thursday. The minister also congratulated the three class members present from Malta.

The minister described it as "a tribute to the Defence Forces Cadet School that the armed forces of Malta chose to train their personnel in Ireland".

"As members of the European Union this type of practical co-operation among our forces bodes well for the future," he said.

hnews@herald.ie