New Hollywood film to honour brave Donegal soldiers

first_imgBased on a true story, ‘The Seige of Jadotville’ centers around the capture of Irish U.N. soliders, 11 of which were from Donegal, during the Katanga conflict in Central Africa in 1961.The title role will be played by Jamie Dornan, and early reviews of the film are strong, scoring a massive 9/10 on IMDB.comLaghey native Kevin Brodbin co-wrote the script with Declan Power, whose book titled ‘The Siege at Jadotville: The Irish Army’s Forgotten Battle’ inspired the film. A total of 155 Irish soldiers were deployed to Central Africa, 11 of whom were from Donegal; James Gormley (Ballyshannon), Harry Hegarty, Michael McDermott, the late William George Duffy, the late James Harper, the late Patrick Gildea, Leo Boland, the late Patrick Nicell, the late Seamus O’Kane, the late Sean Kerr, and Robert Bradley.The true story The early 1960s was an unstable period for the region as in 1960 Katanga split off from Patrice Lumumba’s Congolese government, establishing their own under Moise Tshombe.The Seige of Jadotville happened in 1961 during the United Nations intervention in the conflict when a group of Irish soldiers were attacked by Tshombe’s troops while at mass.The Irish soldiers were scantily armed, yet managed to resist the assault for six days, before being forced to surrender after ammunition and other supplies depleted.Comdt. Pat QuinlanThanks to the quick-thinking of Comdt. Pat Quinlan, he made his soldiers dig trenches – keeping them out of harms way.Not one of Comdt. Quinlan’s men perished.The soldiers were held as Prisoners of War for a month, however none were harmed.This was the last instance that Irish and Swedish troops were involved in hostile action for the United Nations Operation in the Congo. 55th anniversaryThe soldiers were honored by Defence Minister Paul Kehoe earlier this month, as September 2016 marks the 55th anniversary of the Seige.The Minister presented a Unit Citation to the men in recognition of their bravery and heroism.A copy of the Citation was presented to each member or next-of-kin of the Unit. This is the first time a Unit Citation has been awarded within the Defence Forces.In marking this unique occasion, Minister Kehoe has also commissioned an insignia recognising the professional performance of the men of “A” company.Minister Kehoe said; “The United Nations Operation in Congo was the first peacekeeping mission in which significant numbers of Irish soldiers took part. A total of 6,000 Irish soldiers served in the Congo from 1960 until 1964 and I want to take the opportunity to recall the contribution of all who served in the various Irish contingents over the course of this long Mission”“Ireland can be justifiably proud of all our brave men and women who have contributed to the cause of peace and security. Our continued participation in United Nations missions illustrates the very positive and practical difference that small countries, like Ireland, can make in the world’s trouble spots.”.New Hollywood film to honour brave Donegal soldiers was last modified: September 25th, 2016 by Elaine McCalligShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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