Baby Ellie cuddled her birthday cousin

    Baby Michael James Comerford is comforted by his cousin Ellie Rowe as he was overcome by emotion at his first birthday party. Unperturbed, their friend Sam Hayes plays away contendly

    By Jimmy Rhatigan

    Pics: Donal Foley

    IT WAS the afternoon when our local military barracks became a playground for a few hours.

    Occasion was a christening and birthday party for baby Michael James Comerford who was one year old on the previous Thursday.

    Baby MJ Comerford with his parents Michael Comerford Andrea Rhatigan at a christening in Stephens Military Barracks on Saturday. Included are Fr Roderick Whearty, left, and Fr Dan McCarthy, Defence Forces Chaplain, who performed the ceremony in St Fiacre’s Oratory at the barracks

    With his little cousins and friends, MJ had what he may someday call a whale of a time as he enjoyed the attention of family and adult pals as well as  playing with balloons and toys, oblivious at time to what was happening around him.

    He will always have photographic evidence, thanks to Reporter photographer Donal Foley, of the moment when celebrations proved that little too much for him and his cousin Ellie Rowe, two year old daughter of Jenny and Aaron Rowe, wrapped her arms around him.

    The christening ceremony in St Fiacre’s Oratory at the barracks was by Fr Roderick Whearty, St Patrick’s, who had performed the wedding ceremony of MJ’s parents, Andrea Rhatigan and Michael Comerford four years ago. Roderick was assisted by Fr Dan McCarthy, Defence Forces Chaplain.

    Lunch was served in the  NCOs Mess and while curry and chips may not have been on any agenda for the circa 20 children present, they fed their hunger for fun with a few hours on an indoor bouncy castle.

    MJ’s dad Corporal Michael Comerford has been a member of the Defence Forces at Stephens Barracks for 19 years and has served in the Lebanon, Liberia, Chad and Sierra Leone.