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Irish D-Day veteran dies just 2 weeks after receiving the Legion d'Honneur

Tributes were paid to Patrick Gillen yesterday in Cork.

Veteran Patrick Gillen
Veteran Patrick Gillen
Image: Niall Carson

ONE OF Ireland’s last D-Day veterans, who was only awarded France’s highest military honour, the Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur, just two weeks ago, has died.

Patrick Gillen died on 27 December and was laid to rest yesterday in Cork.

Earlier this month, Gillen, who was aged 89, was presented with the medal by the French Ambassador to Ireland, Jean Pierre Thebault, at a ceremony in the Mercy Hospital in Cork.

Veteran receives Legion of Honour Source: Niall Carson

Veteran receives Legion of Honour Source: Niall Carson

Speaking at the ceremony, he said he would dedicate his medal to all of his comrades that did not survive the Second World War.

Tributes were paid to the former Royal Marine Commando, with mourners including members of the Royal British Legion, American Legion and the Defence Forces associations.

Representatives from the US car firm Ford were also in attendance as Gillen had worked for the manufacturer for many years.

Gillen is the beloved husband to his late wife Rita, and leaves behind his four children, Robin, Mary, Patricia, Gerard and his grandchildren.

Veteran receives Legion of Honour Normandy veteran Pat Gillen celebrates with his children, L-R Mary, Robin, Gerard and Patrica as he recieves the the (Legion d'Honneur) Legion of Honour from French Ambassador Jean-Pierre Thebault. Source: Niall Carson

Read: Irish D-Day veteran awarded France’s highest military honour>

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