New Radio Documentary on Aiken Barracks to be broadcast on LMFM at 12noon on St. Patrick’s Day.
For most locals living in and around Dundalk and the North-East region, the daily goings-on behind the walls of Aiken Barracks are a bit of a mystery. Despite its rich and varied history – encompassing its buildings, its people, its events, its memorabilia and its artefacts – it remains an unexplored place to most.
For the first time, this one-hour radio documentary ventures behind the walls of Aiken Barracks and offers listeners a chance to partake in a reconstructed oral history of the barracks, told by those who know it best. Through interviews with current and retired defence force members, the documentary explores the past, present and future of the barracks through the stories associated with key buildings, artefacts and places throughout its large campus, including its museum.
As one of only two permanent Defence Forces bases situated along the border and one of only ten permanent Defence Forces bases remaining overall throughout the country, Aiken Barracks is a place of immense importance for both the local community and our national defences.
The proximity of the border to the barracks was for many years an on-going source of tension, and while the advent of the Peace Process may have lessened this tension in the recent past, the impact of Brexit in the not-too-distant future is as of yet unknown for those stationed behind its walls.
Taking the form of a guided walking tour of the barracks, the documentary is interspersed with elements of interviews expanding upon the stories being told at certain locations, with historical sound effects helping to transport the listener back in time.
The barracks is currently home to approximately 440 personnel and it is here that members of both the Permanent and Reserve Defence Forces receive their training. Charting the overall history of the barracks right from its beginnings as an Infantry Barracks to a Cavalry Barracks, through the War of Independence, the Troubles and the current history of the 27th Battalion, the documentary allows the audience to have a brief glimpse behind the walls of a site of enormous historical and social importance for both Dundalk town and its environs.
‘Aiken Barracks: Behind the Walls’ is produced by Sarah McCann of Little Road Productions Ltd. for LMFM Radio and has been funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland with the Television License Fee.
It will be broadcast on LMFM Radio at 12noon on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th 2017