Defence Forces 'role models' awarded for embodying exceptional values
The Defence Forces Chief of Staff Vice Admiral Mark Mellett and Jadotville medal recipient Capt Noel Carey have presented seven members of the Defence Forces with the inaugural Defence Forces Values Champions Awards at the UN Training School at The Curragh.
The awards were given to six currently-serving members and one posthumous member today for embodying the exceptional morals and values which exemplify the force.
They were nominated by their peers for acting as role models when it comes to such values as respect, loyalty, selflessness, physical and moral courage and integrity.
“They act as role models for our new entrants and as standard bearers for the organisation,” Vice Admiral Mellett said.
Leading Seaman Ryan Carroll was given the award for Physical Courage for his selfless work in rescuing migrants from treacherous conditions in the Mediterranean.
“I was shocked to hear I won the award, I felt any one of the crew on board that day would equally deserve it. That said, Its a proud day for my family and myself, it’s mean a lot particularly as I was nominated by my colleagues," he said following the ceremony.
The late Sgt Stephen McColgan was posthumously given the award for Loyalty following his death in April, 2017.
His widow Niamh McColgan accepted the award on behalf of the Donegal native.
“Stephen was such a modest man he might not have enjoyed the limelight of today but for me, and the rest of the family, we are so proud to accept the award on his behalf.”
Meanwhile, Sgt Richard Muldarry was honoured for Moral Courage for his work with the Defence Forces LGBTA ‘Defend with Pride’ network.
“I’m so proud to have won this award, particularly, for my work on a cause that I’m so passionate about. I must say my morale courage was enabled by the progressiveness of the Defence Forces leadership," he said.
Retired Capt Noel Carey, who was a veteran of the Siege of Jadotville in the Congo during a 1961 UN peace-keeping mission said:
“The values being celebrated today are the same values my comrades of 'A' Company and I relied on in Jadotville, all those years ago.”
The 'A' Company or 35th Battalion of the Irish Army contingent resisted assaults for six days during the battle with 3,500 rebels and mercenaries and were forced to surrender after their ammunition and supplies ran out.
But not before they inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy. All of the soldiers survived being held prisoners of war for a month.