Wednesday 7 December 2016

Courage of trooper remembered in book

Eimear Ni Bhraonain

Published 24/09/2010 | 05:00

Joint authors of
'Missing in
Action',
John
O'Mahony
and Ralph
Riegel, at
the book
launch in
Fermoy,
Co Cork,
last night
Joint authors of 'Missing in Action', John O'Mahony and Ralph Riegel, at the book launch in Fermoy, Co Cork, last night

HE may be missing in action, but the heroism of Trooper Pat Mullins will never be forgotten. Relatives of the man he sacrificed his life for gathered last night at the launch of a book to recognise his courage under fire.

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Pat Mullins was killed after he tried to drive a damaged armoured car to get medical help for his wounded friend, Corporal Michael Nolan.

The fearless 18-year-old died after refusing to leave his injured comrade's side following an ambush in the southern Congolese city of Elisabethville in 1961.

He paid a terrible price for his bravery -- his body was snatched by African soldiers -- and despite repeated search operations by Irish troops it was never found.

'Missing In Action' by Irish Independent southern correspondent Ralph Riegel and John O'Mahony tells his story.

The first-ever meeting of relatives of Cpl Nolan with UN veterans who knew him took place last night.

Colonel Dick Heaslip (Rtd), Commandant Art Magennis (Rtd) and Brigadier General Paul Packenham represented both the Southern Brigade and the Army Chief of Staff.

In 50 proud years of Irish UN peacekeeping operations, just two soldiers remain 'Missing in Action' -- Pat Mullins and Private Kevin Joyce in the Lebanon in 1981.

Co-author of the book John O'Mahony is a veteran of Ireland's 35th Battalion and was Pat's best friend in the Congo.

'Missing In Action' is published by the Mercier Press.

Irish Independent

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