Jadotville Challenge Awards Presentations
On the 5th November 2021, the Defence Forces community came together in Custume Barracks, Athlone, to present the awards to participants of this year’s virtual Jadotville Challenge fundraising event for ONE.
The aim of the Jadotville Challenge was to complete a total of 24,000km, which is the approximate equivalent of the round trip from Athlone, Ireland to Jadotville, Congo. This simulates the same distance that our comrades completed in 1961. The challenge was achieved by totalling the combined effort of all participants over a given time frame, which was 29th June to 3rd July 2021. The 5-days were chosen to mark the number of days our comrades were in battle in Jadotville. If cycling was not your thing you could walk, run, or even swim to clock up your kilometres.
On completion of the event, each participant received a snood and a certificate, and the first 300 registered of the 402 participants received a commemoration medal. There were prizes for the top male and female with the most kilometres done as well as a trophy for the Defence Forces and ONE team who had the most kilometres done too.
Jim McEneaney, Chairperson Michael McNeela Branch (Dundalk) said, “Many of you know the story of Jadotville and when I look around here today, I see the faces of men who not only know the story – but made the story. This year is the 60th anniversary of what has become known as the Siege of Jadotville. So instead of telling you the story of the Siege of Jadotville can I just share with you instead, the story of our virtual Jadotville Challenge.”
“I am delighted to tell you all that not only did we complete our mission but we travelled a total of 57,000kms and in so doing we raised a total of €26,500 for not just for our homeless veterans but also for all our veterans who may be in need of our support and assistance.”
“On behalf of ONE and the organising committee of the Jadotville Challenge we would like to personally thank you for your participation and support.”
Many thanks to OC 6 Inf Bn and Custume Barrack. Fr Declan for his kind words of reflection. Dr Cathal Berry TD, and ONE National President Diarmuid Higgins presented the following prizes:
Individual Male was Brian Dolan, 503.12km who won a 2 Night B&B and evening meal in the Landmark Hotel Carrick on Shannon.
Individual Femalewas Loretta Nolan with 279.94 km, and won a 2 Night B&B in the Hotel Isaacs in Cork. Lorretta was not available to collect her prize today.
The Defence Forces winning team was 1 Cn Cois with 902.32 km, from Dun Ui Mhaoiliosa (Renmore) Galway. Team members: Eddie Carr, James McKernan, Philip O’Grady, and Shane Murphy were not available today, a team trophy will be presented to them ASAP.
The winning ONE veteran’s team was ‘The El Paso Four’ with 539.34 km, from the Michael McNeela Branch (Dundalk). Team Members were Pat Donnelly, Mick Reid, Jim McEneaney, and Eamon Doherty collected the Team Trophy.
One final prize of a 2 Night B&B and Evening meal from one entry of all those who registered was Eleanor Farrell (Sean McEntee).
Many thanks to the organising committee of Neil O’Malley, Pat Donnelly and Jim McEneaney from the Michael McNeela Branch (Dundalk).
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