Irish Army Cavalry Corps

Infobox Military Unit
unit_name=an Cor Marcra


caption=Collar badge of the Cavalry Corps
dates=September 1922-
country=Republic of Ireland
branch=Army
type=Armoured
role=Light Cavalry
Armoured Reconnaissance
motto=
nickname=
battles=
size=Seven squadrons
garrison=1st Armoured Cavalry Squadron - Curragh Camp
1st Cavalry Squadron - Cork
2nd Cavalry Squadron - Rathmines
4th Cavalry Squadron - Longford
The Cavalry Corps "(Irish an Cor Marcra)" is the armoured formation of the Irish Army. In peacetime the Cavalry carries out various duties in aid to the Civil Power, such as:
* Border operations supporting Gardaí.
* Escort duties - cash, explosives, prisoner.
* Patrolling Government installations.

For this, the corps is equipped with various light armoured vehicles including the Mowag Piranha and Panhard AML, which are utilised as part of the light cavalry mission, in support of the infantry. In addition, a number of FV101 Scorpion light tanks are also used in the armoured reconnaissance role.

History

The Cavalry Corps traces its history to the formation of the Armoured Car Corps on 14 September 1922. Mechanised from the start, the corps utilised armoured vehicles that the British Army left following the War of Independence. Following a debate on the use of the term "cavalry", and whether the word was meant to encompass horse, wheeled or tracked, the corps was renamed as the Cavalry Corps in 1934.

After The Emergency, the corps established a main battle tank cadre equipped with the Churchill, which formed the basis of the 1st Tank Squadron in 1959. This was equipped with the Comet until its disbandment in 1973.

The Cavalry Corps has served in many locations on UN peacekeeping missions, including the Congo, Cyprus and Lebanon, either as Cavalry groups on their own, or attached as part of a battalion group.

Cavalry Corps Today

The Cavalry Corps today is approximately equivalent in size to two typical cavalry regiments; however the Irish Army has never utilised the regimental structure (although there was an attempt during 1942 to organise units into a cavalry regiment). Instead, cavalry operates as independent squadrons. Today, the army has a total of four regular cavalry squadrons:
*1st Cavalry Squadron
*2nd Cavalry Squadron
*4th Cavalry Squadron
*1st Armoured Cavalry Squadron

The 1st, 2nd and 4th Squadrons are standard light cavalry units equipped with the Mowag Piranha AFV and Panhard AML armoured car. One squadron is attached to each of the army's three infantry brigades to act as light armoured support. In addition to their regular duties, 2nd Cavalry Squadron also operates as the Presidential Motorcycle Escort, a task inherited from the Blue Hussars in 1948. The 1st Armoured Cavalry Squadron was formed in 1998 by the amalgamation of the 1st Armoured Car Squadron and the reformed 1st Tank Squadron. This operates the FV101 Scorpion in the armoured reconnaissance role; 1st Armoured Cavalry Squadron is an independent unit that is stationed at The Curragh.

In addition to the four regular army units, there are also three Army Reserve squadrons:
*31st Reserve Cavalry Squadron
*54th Reserve Cavalry Squadron
*62nd Reserve Cavalry Squadron


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