Congo UN Mission Saw First Deaths Of Irish Peacekeepers


Our report on the film to be released this year (The Siege of Jadotville) on the Irish UN contribution to the Congo peace-keeping mission has provoked quite a bit of interest and an extremely good take up in terms of page reach.

It was the first of what was to be over fifty years of peace-keeping in which Ireland’s Defence Forces have gained a reputation for professionalism and even-handedness

Celtic League highlighted this when we prepared a submission to the Irish government over the British-Irish military agreement in which we drew heavily on Katsumi Ishizuka’s detailed study “Ireland and International Peacekeeping Operations 1960-2000” sub-heading “A Study of Irish Motivation”.

Our article can be found here:…/the-irish-british-military-…/

In the forward to the book Keith Jeffrey says:

“Katsumi Ishizuka’s careful and reflective study of Ireland and international peacekeeping makes an important contribution to our understanding in three significant areas. The first of these is the broad general topic of peace-keeping in the modern world, characterised by Irish service in, for example, the Congo, Cyprus and the Lebanon and, more recently, service in peace enforcement in the Balkans. Here the Irish experience as a partner in such operations can be extremely illuminating and instructive. Second, Ishizuka’s work provides a valuable case-study of how a small-sized power can itself play a significant part in international affairs. The evidence of the book is that Ireland has, indeed, been able to ‘punch above its weight’ in the global context and reap clear international rewards for its contribution to peace-keeping”

In our brief article about the Jadotville action we pointed out that despite the ferocity of the fighting no Irish troops were killed. However the Congo was the first baptism of for of Irish UN peacekeepers and others were not so lucky. A year before the Jadotville battle Irish peacekeepers were ambushed and nine men of an eleven man patrol were killed in the Niemba ambush.

There is a detailed paper on Jadotville with references at the link below;


1) Irish UN troops at the Elizabeth tunnel outside Elizabethville (now Lubumbashi) capital of Katanga province.
2) Heavy mortar unit – Irish peacekeepers Congo


Issued by: The Celtic News



The Celtic League established in 1961 has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It promotes cooperation between the countries and campaigns on a range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, military activity and socio-economic issues

Mannin Branch Celtic League's photo.
Mannin Branch Celtic League's photo.
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