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The History of the IUNVA





                                                                                        Irish United Nations Veterans Association






Our confinement with the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus I put together this small synopsis of how much work the founding members put into what we have today.

Below the following collage of photos of the building from a scrapbook before renovations took place having said that you can view the original photos on display today in the schoolhouse museum.

The association museum offers visitors an insight into the history, defining moments and current status of our posts countrywide.

We are in changing times and new ideas would need to brought to the association on how to attract new members. Our associations is only as good as its members.




The foundation Association was in Dublin in 1989 by serving and retired members of the P.D.F. The Association soon spread countrywide. It was felt that the interests of veterans who had served their country on overseas service and had contributed significantly to world peace were not been addressed.

Another reason for setting up was to keep alive and honor the memory of our comrades who gave their lives in the cause of peace.

Niemba House, the first Headquarters of IUNVA.

In the early days all meetings were held in a room in the Leisure Complex in St. Brendan’s Hospital until a suitable premise’s was rented in Stoneybatter, Dublin, the first HQ of IUNVA.  It was named Niemba House to commemorate the Ambush of an Irish Patrol in the Congo on 8th November 1960.

Niemba House was officially opened by the Minister for Defence, the late Brian Lenihan, T.D. on 16th December 1990.


At the first annual general meeting on 6th October, 1990, at the Eastern Health Board Social Club, Grangegorman, the constitution of IUNVA was ratified and the first National Executive Committee was elected as follows:

National Honorary President: Maj Gen V. Savino (Retd)

Chairperson: Coy Sgt Michael Pierce (5 Inf Bn)

Deputy Chairman: Sgt Maj Sean Phillips (5 Inf Bn)

Secretary: Sgt David Alford (5 Inf Bn)

Treasurer: Paudge McCabe

Quartermaster: Joe Desmond

Old Schoolhouse Restoration Project Arbour Hill Dublin 7

The building which is “listed” has been leased to the Irish United Nations Veterans Association (IUNVA) by the Minister of Defence

The association main objective was to move its HQ into this building and create an environment that incorporated offices, meeting rooms, toilet kitchen facilities and to include tea rooms for members. Our association had a vast range of memorabilia that could be displayed in the future for the local community to visit and today we have a museum with a vast array of United Nations peacekeeping missions.

Arbour House and The Memorial Garden.

Arbour House was originally the Garrison school principal’s house during the British occupation. It later became the caretaker’s house for the person responsible for looking after the graveyard in Arbour Hill.

When the Headquarters of IUNVA was in Stoneybatter, it became quite a burden to keep paying the rent each week as funds were scarce in the early days. Some members had to put their hands in their pockets to help pay the expenses.

Mr. Joe Clohssey (RIP), a member of Post 1 who worked as an usher in Government Buildings, used all his powers of persuasion in getting Arbour House (on lease) from then Minister of State, Mr. Noel Treacy, T.D. and the OPW.

The Association was very pleased to get the keys, even though they knew a serious challenge lay ahead as the building was in a dilapidated state. Having been unoccupied for many years it required serious work to make it habitable.

The members relished the challenge and were fortunate in having within their ranks members with the various skills required to get the house in shape. After several months of blood, sweat and tears the transformation of the house, which included the building of a new kitchen, was completed.

It was a remarkable achievement and one in which all who were involved could feel justifiably proud.

Next on the list was the garden in front of the house which was the property of Dublin Corporation. This was once used by residents living in the area as vegetable plots but, because it hadn’t been looked after for several years, it had become very overgrown with trees, shrubs and weeds.

Contact was made with Mr. Gerry Barry, Superintendent Parks Department, Dublin Corporation, informing him of our plans to open a Memorial Garden and that the garden in front of Arbour House, was the ideal location.

The request was granted and the site was handed over. However, not only did they hand over the garden, they also agreed to landscape it. Roadstone generously came on board and laid the pathways around the garden.

The cost of the Memorial Stone was paid through funds raised by the members. The Memorial Garden was officially opened by President Mary McAleese on the 8th November, 1998. IUNVA now had a new HQ with a Memorial Garden located in one of the most historic areas of Dublin City – Arbour Hill.

Our association had a vast range of memorabilia that could be displayed in the future for the local community to visit and today we have a museum with a vast array of United Nations peacekeeping missions.

The first meeting on record in the new HQ first took place in the schoolhouse on Tuesday 24th October 2000 at 20.00hrs

Members in attendance as Follows. D.Garlard, J. Condon, D. McGivern. J. Coleman, R. Tapley, N. McGivern, M. Colton, M. Butler, T. Dunne, P. Bannon. M.Monaghan, A. Dominican, M. Prince, J. Desmond, M. Corrigan, J. Mulvey   P. Smith, A. Anderson, P. Hughes, P. Kirby, C. Robinson, J. Cunningham, P. Keevey.

Monuments and Memorials

Monuments have been erected to the memory of our fallen comrades in the following locations.

National monument at Arbour house Dublin, Enniscorthy, Cork, Limerick, Athlone, Tipperary town (memorial arch), Letterkenny, Fermoy, Mullingar, Portlaoise, Carlow, Galway. 

Wreath laying ceremonies are held at these locations on an Annual basis.

Graves for veterans who have served overseas and have nobody to lay them to rest are located at Mulhuddart, Athlone (Monument), Mullingar (Monument) and Letterkenny.

Photo 1                                                                                    


Top Left: Schoolhouse Extension                                 

Top Right: Gable End BoxingClub

Bottom Right: Entrance to Arbour House

Bottom Left: Corner of Main Hall




Photo 2


Top Left: Small room view 1(today Mannequin room)

Top Right: Laneway to Backyard Extension

 Bottom Right: Corner of yard Boxing Club

  Bottom Left: Small room view 2




Photo 3


Top Left: Laneway from Arbour hill entrance to IUNVA

Top Right: Doorway into IUNVA House

Bottom Right: Entrance to Arbour House

Bottom Left: Corner of Main Hall from Arbour House




Photo 4


Top Left: Schoolhouse exit to 1916 Graveyards

Top Right: First lock fitted to follow 11 locks in 4 months (ouch)

Bottom Right: Windows (Mannequin room) with 4 inch blocks removed

Bottom Left: Blocked door from carpark now double brown door to laneway




Photo 5


Top Left: Inside View small room (now Mannequin room)

Top Right: Schoolhouse Blocked up window now glass cabinet U.N display

Bottom Right: Entrance to extension on left

Bottom Left: Corner of Main Hall schoolhous




Photo 6


Top Left: Fireplace in Extension

Top Right: View of extension main room

Bottom: Toilets schoolhouse





Photo 7


Top Left: Schoolhouse Extension

Top Right: Replacement windows small room (Mannequin room)

Bottom Right: Entrance to Kitchen and proposed new tea room

Bottom Left: Proposed ramp area to carpark




Photo 8


Top Photo

Left John Condon still a great asset to IUNVA

Right: Dan Garland (+ R.I.P +)





Photo 9


Top Left: Minister for Defence W O’Dee

Top Right: Minister with Dan garland and Vincent Savino

Bottom Right: Right Joe Costello (TD) and The Lord Mayor after Post 1 Annual Mass 18th June 2006

Bottom Left: Minister and Paul Smith heading to Mass after Visit to IUNVA




Photo 10


Top Photo: Minister for Defence W O’Dee meets IUNVA & O.N.E

Top Right: Minister with Dan garland and Vincent Savino

Bottom Right: Minister meets on the 50th Anniversary of Ireland’s participation on U.N missions to announce Department grant to

Bottom Left: Minister hands over contribution to IUNVA for schoolhouse renovation’s




Derek Judge

National Secretary


Arbour House, Arbour Hill,

Mount Temple Road, Dublin 7.













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Arbour House 
Mount Temple Road
Dublin 7 

T: +353(0)1-6791262
E: iunvahqd7@gmail.com



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