Published on September 4th, 2022 | by Mark Dwyer


Shannon Aviation Museum Opens Irish Air Corps Display Hall

Irish Air Corps General Officer Commanding and Director of Military Aviation, Brigadier General Rory O’Connor opened a new Irish Air Corps display hall at Shannon Aviation Museum which features Sliver Swallows Air Corps Fouga Magister F216 centre stage. This is surrounded by R210 Reims Rocket Cessna 172, having the distinction of being the longest active aircraft in the fleet with 47 years’ service, a striking photographic display by 105 Airborne Photo Imaging Sqn, along with a range of uniforms, memorabilia and models. The installation of the permanent exhibition coincides with this year’s celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Irish Air Corps.

The opening took place following speeches by Ministers of State Patrick O’Donovan and Niall Collins, Mayor of Clare Tony O’Brien, Joe Carey TD, and Cathal Crowe TD who all spoke of the importance of preserving aviation heritage and complimented the team on presenting a unique visitor experience for the region as well as developing learning programmes and its work with Technological University Shannon Region.

Mary Considine, CEO of Shannon Airport Group addressed guests at what she described as a ‘historic’ opening. The event also marked the 83rd anniversary of the first Irish Air Corps deployment to Shannon Airport on 30th August 1939 with 5 aircraft and 92 personnel. She also said that by coming here, our visitors can understand the rich history of aviation, and we will do our part to promote the museum’

Brigadier General Rory O’Connor spoke before formally opening the display, saying that ‘’Shannon is associated with aviation and has a special place in Irish and world aviation history. Through the Air Corps connection with Shannon Aviation Museum, we have sought to do what we could to ensure that the history of Irish Aviation is not forgotten, and we can provide some of that inspiration for the future’’  

Shannon Aviation Museum (SAM) was founded in 2008 as an interactive museum and aviation discovery centre. SAM presents and advocates all aspects of aviation to the general public, engaging those who have a passing interest as well as those who have a passionate interest in aviation. The Aviation Discovery Centre offers access to information and practical insight into aviation careers through its range of education programmes designed to inspire and nurture the next generation.

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About the Author

Mark is an airline pilot flying the Boeing 737 for a major European airline. In addition he is also a Type Rating Instructor, Type Rating Examiner and Base Training Captain on the B737. Outside of commercial flying Mark enjoys flying light aircraft from the smallest 3 Axis microlights up to heavier singles. He is also an instructor and EASA Examiner on single engines and a UK CAA Examiner. He flies the Chipmunk for the Irish Historic Flight Foundation (IHFF). Mark became the Chairman of the National Microlight Association of Ireland (NMAI) in 2013 and has overseen a massive growth in the organisation. In this role he has worked at local and national levels. In 2015, Mark won ‘Upcoming Aviation Professional Award’ at the Aviation Industry Awards sponsored by the IAA. Mark launched this website back in 2002 while always managing the website, he has also been Editor and Deputy Editor of FlyingInIreland Magazine from 2005 to 2015.

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