Roscommon soldiers among those honoured by Government at Custume Barracks for their bravery at Siege of Jadotville
|Mary Tiernan and Senator Frank Feighan|
Senator Feighan said it was a great source of pride to be among the large attendance at Custume Barracks in Athlone last Saturday where a special event took place to formally honour the bravery of Irish soldiers who fought at the famous Siege of Jadotville 55 years ago.
“In 1961, 157 Irishmen fended off 3,000 enemy forces at the famous Siege of Jadotville in fierce exchanges which lasted six days. Three hundred enemy forces were killed during this battle in the Congo while there were no fatalities on the Irish side.
“The soldiers came from ‘A’ Company, 35th Infantry Battalion and were led by Commander Pat Quinlan. I was delighted to see a number of Roscommon men who were among that courageous group of soldiers honoured last Saturday.
“It was wonderful to see the Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Paul Kehoe, present a Unit Citation to the Company at Custume Barracks in recognition of their bravery and heroism.
“This is the first time a Unit Citation has been awarded within the Defence Forces and a copy of the citation was presented to each member or next-of-kin of the unit.
“The Siege, which has now been made into a movie, is an incredible story of courage in the face of huge adversity.
“Unfortunately, the bravery of these Irish man was never fully recognised until last Saturday’s event and the emotion was very palpable among former soldiers and the families as the long wait for recognition was finally over.”