Regimental Mascots

Irish Guards' Mascots 2000 to present day

The next Regimental Mascot was named Aengus after the Irish Warrior King Aengus MacNadfraech. The original Aengus was baptised by St. Patrick as the first Christian King of Munster.

Aengus 
 Aengus
Aengus on parade 
 
 
 Postcard showing Aengus leading the Irish Guards Band outside Buckingham Palace
 
 Aengus greeting Queen Mother
 Aengus meeting HRH The Queen Mother on the
6th November 2001, at Clarence House, St James Palace, London
 My grateful thanks to LSgt. E. J. Rooney for the above photograph
 
Shamrock 
 Aengus and friends on St. Patrick's Day, 2002
My grateful thanks to Paul Teague for the photograph above 

Aengus only served until 2003 and his place was taken by Donnchad. Donnchad is the original spelling of Duncan and in this form dates from Middle Irish Gaelic (c900-c1200).

 Donnchad
Green Berets: Irish Guards mascot, Donnchadh, and Drummer Lance Clerkin
celebrate St. Patrick's Day with shamrock at Bessbrook in South Armagh,
Northern Ireland yesterday (Daily Telegraph, Thursday March 18, 2004) 
 
Donnchad on parade 
 Donnchad on parade, 2004
Photo by Elf 

Sadly, Donnchad died in 2005 and the Irish Guards were without a mascot for more than a year until Fergal joined the Regiment in September, 2006. Fergal means "man of valour", and is derived from the Gaelic elements fear "man" and gal "valour". In this spelling the name dates to around 700 - 900 and was the name of an 8th century King of Ireland.

Fergal at Crufts 2007
Fergal at Crufts, 2007 
 
On May 22nd, 2007 Fergal took part in the inauguration of the new Mayor in Banbury, along with the Irish Guards' Pipes & Drums, and took the town by storm.  
 
 Fergal, like Fionn in earlier times, was attached to the Recruitment Section with his handler. They travelled together all over the country for this.
Fergal leading a church parade 
Photograph by Chris Fletcher  
Fergal and his handler, Drummer Colin Luther-Davies, leading a
church parade in April 2007, prior to the 1st Battalion leaving for a tour of duty in Iraq
My thanks to Julie Hughes for these photographs of Fergal 
 
 On May 22nd, 2007 Fergal took part in the inauguration of the new Mayor in Banbury, along with the Irish Guards' Pipes & Drums, and took the town by storm.
 Fergal and handler
 Prior to the event
My grateful thanks to Banbury Council for these four photographs 
 Fergal with the Mayor
 Fergal with the Mayor and his wife
 
Tragically, Fergal was killed in an automobile accident while being exercised away from the Barracks in 2007. The Irish Guards were without a mascot for a year but now have another hound called Conmael, named after a son of Éber Finn who became High King of Ireland when he killed Ethriel, son of Íriel Fáid, in the Battle of Rairiu. He was the first Milesian High King to have been born in Ireland, and the first to have been based in Munster. He fought twenty-five battles against the descendents of Érimón, and ruled for thirty years, until he was killed by Tigernmas in the Battle of Óenach Macha.
 
 Conmael with the shamrock
 
 Conmael made his debut at the Trooping of the Colour on June 13th, 2009, but can be seen in a video, taken on June 6th, 2009, leading the Irish Guards along The Mall in London to Horse Guards Parade for The Colonel's Review - the second full dress rehearsal for Trooping The Colour.
He can be seen in the final Changing of the Guard prior to the Queen's Birthday Parade in July, 2010 at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQL75hqDEQs 
 He can also be seen in a video of Wolfhound Prepares for Royal Wedding on April 21st, 2011 at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BusOYazpPmI
He can be seen in a video from the Guardian in April 2011 on the preparation for the Royal Wedding, Prince William being Colonel of the Regiment -  http://www.dinningtontoday.co.uk/news/local-news/irish_guards_mascot_at_palace_for_royal_wedding_1_3317226
 There are some excellent photographs of Conmael in the Trooping of the Colour in June 2011 on Harald Joergens website - http://www.haraldjoergens.com/galleries/30-event-photos/07-trooping-the-colour-2011/
 ……………
 

 Regimental pets cigarette card  Mascot cigarette card  Cigarette card
 Cigarette card in the series
"Regimental Pets",
first issued in 1911

The back of the card reads:
"The Wolfhound of the Irish Guards - The Pet of the Irish Guards is an Irish Wolfhound, who appears on parade. The Dog receives a collar of the Shamrock supplied by the Queen on St. Patrick's Day."
E. Robinson Cigarette Card in the series
"Regimental Mascots"

The back of the card reads:
"Mascot of the Irish Guards -
An Irish Wolf Hound is the mascot of the Irish Guards.
This dog is a cross between the Great Dane and the Scottish Deer Hound. It is the tallest species and is useful in hunting big game, being often used in the Scottish deer forests.
 Grey's Cigarette Card
in the series
"Soldiers of the King"

The back of the card reads:
"The Irish Guards - Of comparatively recent origin, the Irish Guards were raised at the wish of Queen Victoria in 1900 as a tribute to the magnificent services rendered by Irish regiments during the South African campaign. An Irish Wolfhound which proudly 'follows the drum' on ceremonial parades is the treasured mascot of the Irish Guards. The Army chooses its mascots for a variety of reasons, some symbolise regimental badges, others record campaigns, whilst some pets even have utility, like the kittens which the soldiers carried inside their coats for warmth at the battle of Alma.

The home page for the Irish Guards can be found at http://www.army.mod.uk/irishguards/index.htm. For the Irish Guards WWII Living History Association, click here.

For full details on the Irish Guards' mascots see the book Wolfhounds on Parade by Martin Garrity and Holly Cook.

Wolfhounds on Parade   

The book was published by Dogonit, 1997. Contact Martin Garrity at
beyondhope@uniserve.com
for details of availability, price, etc.

 
 The book Irish Guards The First Hundred Years 1900-2000 was published by Spellmount Publishers, Staplehurst, Kent in 2000
 
 The magazine Regiment The Military Heritage Collection is published by Nexus Special Interests Ltd., publishers of Military Modelling, and the issue on the Irish Guards was Issue Fifty Two, December 2000.
 
 There have been many models of the Irish Guards' mascot in series of toy soldiers made by various manufacturers, some of which can be seen on the next page.

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Updated 1/19/2012