By PRO IUNVA
This article recalls the death of Lt Col Jack Griffin in a road traffic accident in Oct 2015.
Lt Col John Charles (Jack) Griffin (47) was born Jan 1968 and he joined the DF as a member of 63 Cadet Class in Oct 1986. He was commissioned in May 1988 and he was assigned to 3 Inf Bn. He served in a range of appointments in this unit and later with 29 Inf Bn, 1 Mech Inf Coy, as an instructor with the NCO Trg Wing and Officer Trg Wing in Mil Col, as a staff officer at DFHQ with J2, J 3 and J5, at SPO, he was 2 I/C 5 Inf Bn. He had a distinguished career as a peacekeeper, he completed three tours of duty with UNIFIL, as Pl Comd, B Coy, 76 Inf Bn in 1994 – 95, Asst Ops/MIO HQ 83 Inf Bn in 1998 and as Ops Offr 36 Inf Gp in 2007. He was an unarmed military observer with Mission des Nations Unies pour l’Organisation d’un Référendum au Sahara Occidental (UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara [MINURSO]) in 2000, he served as a staff officer with Mission de l’Organisation des Nations Unies en République Démocratique du Congo (UN Organisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo [MONUC] in 2001 – 02, he was OIC NIC, HQ 99 Inf Bn EUFOR in tChad in 2009 and with Opération des Nations Unies en Côte (UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire [UNOCI]) in 2013. In Jun 2014 he joined the EU Mil Staff in Brussels.
He was on leave at his home in Thurles Co Tipperary when shortly after 1500 hours on Saturday 31 Oct 2015 he was jogging hear his home on the Thurles to Horse and Jockey road when he was struck by a car at Turtulla Cross. He was taken to South Tipperary General Hospital in Clonmel but he died from his injuries.
He was a committed sportsman, he graduated with a BA in Physical Education degree from the University of Limerick in 1992 and he was heavily involved in DF GAA and training and as selector with Thurles Sarsfields.
He was survived by his wife Patricia and three daughters Laragh (9), Isabelle (7) and Emma Mai (4), his brother Charles, sisters Jacqueline, Catriona and Maria.
On Wednesday 4 Nov, his coffin was removed from his home to the Cathedral of the Assumption, Thurles for Requiem Mass. He was buried at St Partick’s Cemetery, Thurles.
Mass was concelebrated by Fr. Martin Hayes, Fr. Seamus Madigan HCF and Fr. PJ Somers CF DFTC. The large attendance included the Minister for Defence Simon Coveney, COS Vice Adm Mark Mellett DSM , President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Enda Kenny were represented by their aides-de-camps. The Director General of the EU Military Staff, Lt Gen Wolfgang Wosolsob (Austria) also attended the funeral.
Suaimhneas síoraí ar a anam uasal.