Naas army Captain greets the Queen

One of the first people to greet the Queen Elizabeth on her arrival in these shores was a Naas man.

One of the first people to greet the Queen Elizabeth on her arrival in these shores was a Naas man.

Thomas Holmes, the eldest son of Tony and Julie Holmes, is an army officer based at McKee Barracks in Dublin.

He is known locally as a rugby player in Naas, like his younger brother Johnny, who is a first team player and a coach. He has a younger sister, Julie.

Capt. Holmes, who comes from Sallins Road, commanded a guard of honour at Aras an Uachtarain on Tuesday last (May 18) where the Queen was greeted by President Mary McAleese and accorded full military honours. It was the first time an army man had spoken to the Queen in a hundred years on Irish soil.

Before the inspection began he addressed the Queen, telling her the guard of honour was drawn from the 2nd Eastern Brigade, the Air Corps and the Naval Service. Tony, who turns 29 in June, is a former pupil at St. Corban’s boys primary school and Newbridge College.

His dad Tony said the family was not immediately aware of the significance of the event.

“We didn’t fully know before hand how important it was and we didnt realise the impact of it. We are very proud of him because it’s a big honour and it in sense it was a historic event,” Tony told the Leader.

Other more senior officers with strong county Kildare links had prominent roles in various events during the State visit, notably Defence Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Sean McCann and Deputy Chief of Staff Support Maj. Gen. Dave Ashe.