Monday 22 January 2018

Solemn salute to the fallen at 53rd anniversary of Congo mission

President of Post 1 Michael Colton.
President of Post 1 Michael Colton.
Noel Cullen, secretary with the Royal British Legion, and Major General Vincent Savino of the Irish UN Veterans' Association.
Anthony Browne with Major General Savino
Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

IT remains the single biggest loss of life suffered by the Irish Defence Forces and their deaths convulsed the nation.

The nine Irish members of the United Nations who lost their lives in the infamous ambush at Niemba were solemnly remembered yesterday in a memorial service at Dublin's Glasnevin Cemetery, marking the 53rd anniversary of the Congo deployment.

Among those attending was Anthony Browne, the nephew of veteran Gerard Browne, who was awarded the highest award of honour, the Medal for Gallantry with Distinction.

Massacred by Baluba tribesmen on November 8, 1960, Irish troops were part of a mission to de-Belgianise the Congo.

The troops of the UN Congo mission were the original 'pathfinders' who took the first steps towards Ireland's long and proud tradition of peace-keeping.

The Congo marked the Irish Army's first armed overseas mission.

In the four-year mission in the Congo, 6,000 Irish troops were involved. At its height, the total UN force numbered 20,000 troops.

Irish Independent

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