School's role in honouring Jadotville heroes
A school in Malahide played a pivotal role in the successful campaign to reward the brave men of the Siege of Jadotville and that role has been recognised in a very special ceremony at the school, held recently.
The campaign to recognise the heroism of Company AJadotville, which was achieved with the awarding of the Jadotville Medal last December in Athlone, has been acknowledged by a special event in Malahide Community School.
However therei s still the issue of seven of the Company being recognised for special awards for bravery and indeed the recognition of the brilliance of Commandant Pat Quinlan , who brought the whole Company home alive and the school will fight on to have those wrongs righted.
The Head of the Indian Army has stated that if Commandant Quinlan was a member of the Indian Army, he would have received the Highest Order of Merit. Indeed his defensive military tactics have been studied in military academies in Italy, Germany , Australia and England among others.
A number of invited guests addressed the Malahide students recently on the infamous siege which was immortalised in the film 'The Siege of Jadotville'. Commandant Leo Quinlan, historian and son of Commandant Pat Quinlan , explained the Siege of Jadotville and the tactics employed. Vice Admiral Mark Mellett, Head of All Iris Armed Forces, was represented by Captain Dolan, who spoke about the 60th Anniversary of Irish Peacekeeping in the UN. A number of politicians spoke on the campaign, including Senator Gerard Craughwell, Catherine Connolly Galway TD, and Darragh O Brien TD and a former pupil of Malahide Community School: all of whom worked on the campaign with the school.
According to Malahide Community School teacher, and co-ordinator of the campaign at the school, Kevin Manning: 'Former Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, was a source of encouragement and support throughout this campaign and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar continued in this support. Micheal Martin TD had supported the campaign from the outset. '
The school acknowledged the work done by Declan Power, author of the book 'The Siege of Jadotville'. Declan sent the school a personal message, congratulating them on their efforts. The heroes of Jadotville are now recognised as the brave men they were and the school can be proud of its role in achieving that recognition for men who waited for more than 50 years to be honoured.