Niemba 61st Anniversary Video
Niemba 61st Anniversary
On the 8th of November 1960, nine brave men of the 33 Infantry Battalion were killed in the cause of peace in Niemba while serving with the United Nations in the Congo (ONUC). The names of the fallen are listed below together with their home units.
ROLL OF HONOUR
Lieutenant Kevin Gleeson – 2 Field Engineer Company
Sergeant Hugh F Gaynor – 2 Motor Squadron
Corporal Peter Kelly – 5 Infantry Battalion
Corporal Liam Dougan – 5 Infantry Battalion
Private Matthew Farrell – 2 Hospital Company
Trooper Thomas Fennell – 2 Motor Squadron
Trooper Anthony Browne MMG – 2 Motor Squadron
Private Michael McGuinn – 2 Field Engineer Company
Private Gerard Killeen – Command Training Depot (East)
We also remember Private Patrick H Davis – 2 Field Engineer Company – who lost his life on 10th November 1960 in a follow-up operation. He was laid to rest in Glasnevin Cemetery with eight of his comrades from the ambush following a State Funeral on 22 November 1960.
The body of Trooper Anthony Browne MMG was recovered two years later and returned to Ireland for burial. This is the biggest loss of life in the sixty-three years’ history of peacekeeping operations by the Defence Forces, a history that includes approximately 72,500 tours of duty.
ONE commemorates Niemba annually in Cathal Brugha Barracks on the Saturday nearest 08 November. We can remember the fallen and indeed all those who lost their lives in the cause of peace by looking at Noel O’Grady’s tribute as he sings The Niemba Song. We also remember those who survived the Ambush, Joe Fitzpatrick and Tom Kenny who sadly passed away on 30 October 2021, may he Rest in Peace
Noel O’Grady, a veteran of thirty-four years in the Defence Forces, served overseas with the United Nations in Lebanon, Former Yugoslavia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Eritrea / Ethiopia, and fittingly his last year of service was in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Noel is a uniquely gifted singer whose repertoire straddles the works of great Irish writers such as James Joyce, William Butler Yeats, Seán O’Casey, Patrick Kavanagh, and John B. Keane. A five-time winner of Oireachtas na Gaeilge for traditional singing in Irish, he is a sensitive interpreter of such iconic songs as the 8th century Dónal Óg and 17th-century Úna Bhán.
You can view Niemba clip by Noel O’Grady here
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