The US Navy has confirmed this evening that a US war ship is to be named after a Ballyhaunis man, who died in an ambush in 1967 during the Vietnam War.

Corporal Patrick "Bob" Gallagher grew up in Derrintogher, outside Ballyhaunis and emigrated to the US in 1963.

He joined the US Marines and was nearing the end of a tour of duty in Vietnam, when he was killed in an ambush on 30 March 1967.

Just weeks earlier, he was accorded the Navy Cross for bravery, the second highest honour bestowed by the US Military and Navy, for saving the lives of two comrades by throwing himself on a grenade as they fled to safety.

He was buried in Ballyhaunis in April 1967, and last Spring, a special Mass of Remembrance was held in St Patrick’s Church to mark the 50th anniversary of his death while a monument was unveiled at the local cemetery in his memory.

Relatives and former colleagues have been campaigning  for several years have a US Navy vessel named in his honour, and this evening, the US Navy confirmed that, having reviewed the case, it has been decided to recognise the "exemplary service in defence of the nation" that was undertaken by Corporal Gallagher.



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