IUNVA  |  Honouring Caring Remembering




 Irish United Nations Veterans Association To All Veterans/Associations/Organisations  - 22nd September 2018

The Word “VETERAN” is seen by most as an “Old Retired Soldier”.  This is not so, once you have served your 1st UN Tour of Duty, you are a UN Veteran. We urge you to join our Association, we need young blood,the age profile of our members is not getting any younger.  Serving soldiers are allowed to join the Association.  This is approved by Department of Defence.  Serving soldiers or discharged who have no UN service can become an IUNVA Subscriber.

Our Association is the only official recognised Association listed in Defence Forces White Paper where all of our Members have served in Defence Forces or are still serving.

You are invited to consider becoming a member, or a Subscriber of our Association, we respect that your loyalty lies with your Association and we are proud to have you participate in your respective uniforms at all events.  Rest assured we will not interfere in your Association policies in any way, our advice, help and support is available should your require such.  Your support will ensure we can continue to finance the welfare requirements of veterans into the future.  Membership and Subscriber Membership fees is €24.00 per year, payable to Treasurer IUNVA, or deduction from Pension or Pay, or via DONATE icon on website www.iunva.ie  - One off donations is also accepted.

Number one we are all veterans and it is in our interest to work together, united we stand, divided we fall.  We are currently working with Department of Defence in securing a Veterans Policy in Defence Forces White Paper; this is not only for IUNVA Members but for all our Veterans.   If you wish to make any submissions, recommendations you are free to do so and we can take them on board.  Finally I ask all Veterans not to make unfavourable or discreditable postings on social media, if anyone has an issue please make contact first and endeavour to sort it out.  It is not in the best interest of Veterans to make such remarks on social media; it may be in the interest of the Powers to be to see us at one other’s throats instead of working together in harmony to achieve our respective goals.

19th September 2018 Parade Wives & Partners Defence Forces was a prime example of how we can work to-gather; this was a parade for all Veterans irrespective of our Associations/Organisations, with different uniforms and some Veterans in civilians where we marched as one side by side.  The organisation was professionally run with dignity and respect, let this be a stepping stone into the future where we are in unity with each other. It is the intention of IUNVA to meet with all other Veterans Associations/Organisations in the near future.

The objectives of our Association are listed on our Website www.iunva.ie.   You may have seen unfavourable and discreditable remarks posted on social media concerning our Association from time to time.  It is not our policy NOT to reply to such postings on social media.   99% of such postings are incorrect with unfounded statements and remarks.   Documentation on such postings is recorded and we can prove they are incorrect.

What you see on our Website is a general description of our Association’s every day events.  Countless events cannot be published; they are confidential in that they relate to payments for welfare, burials, accommodation, counselling, medical and domestic matters.  We not only cater for our members but also any ex soldiers with genuine problems.   These problems are never-ending and it is envisaged they will continue to increase.  All such payments are included in our Annual Audited Accounts and submitted to Charity Regulator when audited.

Our Association has the greatest respect for all Veterans Associations/Organisations and as veterans we should work in harmony side by side.  We may have differences but these can be settled by sitting down and talking.  Our Association and ONET are recognised by Department of Defence and as such we can be a voice for your Associations at our meetings with them.  This has already been successfully achieved in the running of Veterans Day by appointing a Ceremonial Officer from one of the Association to organise other Associations parading on the day.  We have also voiced our concerns on Pay & Conditions in Defence Forces at such meetings directly with Minister Responsible for Defence.   We supported Wives & Partners on parades and will continue to do so in future ones.  Your support is also appreciated in supporting such important events.

Please consider joining our Association and if you require any further clarifications or information on any matter feel free to contact us.  We look forward in hearing from you.

 Jim Casey                                                                                              22nd September 2018

National Chairman


LOGOParade Respect & Loyalty 19th September 2018 

We have this one last chance to show strength of numbers & solidarity to everyone that our DF is in Crisis!! That the Silent Sentinels of the our Citizens, our Country & our Government - who provide Security & Stability for Foreign Investment, are heading into an abyss.  We owe it to them all, including the Department of Defence, to let them know they are playing with a false economy, and leaving us all at risk.
Everyone on our Parade is a Leader - a peer Leader. And we will lead by example from the start to the finish of our Parade!!
Parking in Merrion Square South & West - An Garda Síochána.
This is a Parade - NOT a protest. 
1. First of all, if it rains we will get wet, but it will just demonstrate how determined we are. So good or bad, stay the course, regardless of the weather, Parade & Stand Together.
2. Our parade is organised so as NOT to impact on local people or businesses in the areas of our parade. 
3. Respect will be shown to all who Parade & Support us, no exceptions.
4. Our submission will be signed off by Sean Finnergan Retired PDF, Alan Laird Retired RDF, Diarmuid Higgins Retired Navy, Pat O Toole Retired Air Corp and Judith Butler Wharton WPDF. This represents all four Services of the DF & our families!!All submission's will have original signatures on it.
5. Phase 1 -  a) 0900 Hrs - Copy of our signed submission is handed in to our Chief Of Staff Vice admiral Mark Mellett DSM, at McKee Barracks Dublin by Three (3) Retired Veterans BTC (with Noel O Callaghan as coordinator). Flag bearers with our National Flag with David Carrick, 2 Bn Association and three (3) overseas mission flags - UN/ EU & NATO - Action Paul Clarke.

b) 0930 Hrs - Copy of our signed submission is handed in to our Uachtarán na hÉireann Michael D Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin by two (2)  Jadotville Veterans Tom Gunn, John Gorman with Anto Gallagher 2 FARA (with Noel O Callaghan as coordinator).Flag bearers with our National Flag David Carrick 2 Bn Association and three (3) overseas mission flags - UN/ EU & NATO - Action Paul Clarke.
c) 0940 Hrs - Copy of the signed submission is handed in to Maurice Quinn Secretary General Department of Defence in Newbridge by Sarah Washe, Gerry Fogarty & Jimmy Shields. 
All at a, b & c will move to the Military Memorial at Merrion Square, where the Military Community & all who support us will form up and Parade for Respect & Loyalty.

Phase 1 Ends.

6. Phase 2 -a) 1145 Hrs Military Memorial Merrion Square Dublin - Parade form up.  
b)  Respect & Loyalty Ceremony will be held prior to our Parade at Leinster House.
c) Speakers - Shelley, Senator Gerard P Craughwell & Noel O Callaghan.
d) Blessing - TBC.
e) Six (6) x Wreaths are laid for all who have Died in Service  - Brian ONeill Chairman 1916 Relatives Association, Joe McCrossen 28 Bn Assoc, Brian Grundy & Pat O Toole Air Corp, Michael Quinn & Damien Eastword Navel Service, John Oxberry 2FARA RDF & Lorraine  O'Hare WPDF representing DF family members.
f) 1916 Proclamation read out by Mervyn Ennis. 
g) Minutes Silence in Respect & Loyalty for all who died in Service & for all of our Citizens.
h) Last Post.
i) Pipers Lament.
j) Reveille - Phase 2 Ends.
7. Phase 3 -a) 1200 Hrs; Parade turns to their left & move to Leinster House via Trinity Collage side of Kildare Street.Five groups - Band, Colours & three (3) x blocks of fives (5) abreast.Block 1 (Military Veterans in Association Dress), Block 2 Families & Supporters etc, Block 3 (Military Veterans in Civilian Dress). This will make it easier for everyone for the form up as they will know which block to go to.
This format - symbolism -the protection of our Citizens, Country & Government by our Defence Forces.
We will walk as quick as our slowest member so everyone who wants to join us can do so.
b) 1245 Hrs Parade Arrives & take up position outside Government Buildings in the same formation.
c) 1300 Hrs 1.  Address to our Parade & all present - Declan Power - Front Left of Entrance. 2. Concurrent - 1 x Retired PDF addresses Media - Front Left of Entrance.3. Colours will be the back drop for both - Action Paul Clarke.
d) One (1) Minutes Silence for Respect & Loyalty for all who work in Leinster House.
e) National Anthem - IUNVA Pipe Band accompanied by those on our parade. 
f) 1315 - A copy of our signed submission is handed to the Leader of all political parities as follows;
1. M Martin TD - Fianna Fáil Party Leader - Jimmy Casey National Chairman IUNVA.2. Brendad Howlin - Labour Leader - Ray Quinn.3. Eamon Ryan - Green Party Leader - Bernard Maguire Snr 3 Bn Association.4. Marylou McDonald - Sinn Féin Leader- Tony Bolger 2 Inf Bn Association.5. Richard Boyd Barrett - Solidarity – People Before Profit Leader - Tony Bulger 2 Bn Association.6. Tommy Broughan TD - Independents 4 Change Leader - Marlo Brien 5 Bn Association.7. Shane Ross TD - Independent Alliance - Sarah Walshe WPDF .8. Catherine Murphy TD - Social Democrats - Martin Healy 4 FARA.9. Leo Varadker TD - Fine Gael Leader and Minster for Defence Leo Varadker TD - 1 X  9 nine year old girl, representing the children of Military Families -Citizens -  who are loosing out because of Contracts, Wages & Allowances that are not fit for purpose!!
g) All of our elected representatives will be invited out to view the last 15 minutes, including the hand over of the submissions. 

Phase 3 Ends.
9. Phase 4 -a) 1325 Hrs Parade forms and turns towards Stephens Green Park & proceeds back to Merrion Square Military Memorial - b) Short Stop at the Dept of Finance,where a copy of our signed submission is handed into the Dept of Fiance by Noel O Callaghan.
10. 1330 Hrs Parade stands down. Phase 4 Ends. 
11. Phase 5 - Press Conference 1400 hrs - Buswells Hotel.
8. Appointments - a) Parade Commander - Mick Dillon.b) Parade Marshell's - Mick Dillon & Derek Lamb - Block 1, Pat O Driscoll & Dick O Hanlon - Block 3.
c) Parade Stewards - John Jeffers, Tom Barden & Paddy Kavanagh & nineteen (19) x Volunteers - Block 2.d) Colours - Paul Clarke.e) Medical - Terry Tobin & Yvonne Smith Murphy (Paramedic with the National Ambulance).f) PA System for both Locations - Michael Thompson & Charlie Mott IUNVA.g) MC - John Hamill.h) Communications -  Paddy Houlihan CIS DFTC.i) Audio Recording - Mark Bennett (Mark Bennett Audiovisual) & Matthew Jones ("Reel Palette").j) Photography - Denis Barry, Paddy Gifford & Martin Rowe. 
We took this road together &  we will finish it together - Together Forward - Noel O Callaghan Regiment Sergeant Major - Retired.086 3581 634




An invitation was received from Department of Defence to Jim Casey Chairman IUNVA and Michael Colton President Post 1 to attend Headquarters United Nations New York with Defence Force personnell for a wreath laying ceremony by an Taoiseach at Headquarters UN New York from 30th June 2018 to 4th July 2018.   Also to operate the Congo and Cyprus display stands at the launch of the campaign for an Irish seat on Assembly UN HQ New York USA.










A State ceremony to mark the 60th Anniversary of participation by Ireland in United Nations Peacekeeping Operations will be held in Dublin Castle on Sunday 24th June 2018 commencing at 12.00 noon.

The event, which will be led by the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, will celebrate Ireland’s service and commitment to UN peacekeeping participation by the Defence Forces, An Garda Síochána and civilian personnel since 1958. A wreath will be laid in honour of all Irish personnel who died while on U.N. service.  20 IUNVA members are required as flag bearers.

The Ceremony will conclude at 12.45 pm. Members of the public are welcome to attend the ceremony and should be in position in the designated public viewing area in Dublin Castle, no later than 11.30 a.m. as there will be limited capacity at this standing event.

United Nations vehicles and equipment will be on display in the Lower Yard, Dublin Castle throughout the day. For public relations purposes photographs may be taken throughout this event and made publicly available.

IUNVA have been issued with invitations for 1 member of each post to officially attend, members with no invitations are also welcome to attend in public viewing area.

The National Executive Committee wish to thank all members who attended this event.  Special thanks to the Flag Bearers who stood in sweltering heat for over an hour, a credit to all.












johnPresident of Ireland, President Michael D Higgins met with retired Corporal John Gorman from Castlepollard, who has long campaigned for recognition of the men of “A” Company who were involved in the siege of Jadotville and for the award of the Medal.










Early Monday morning 27th May 2018 after our Annual Wreath Laying of Sunday IUNVA members made their way to Dublin Airport for departure to Sweden.  Chairman Jim Casey, National Welfare Officer Mick Thompson, Post 1 President Michael Colton, Post 1 Chairman John Egan, IUNVA Pipe Band Anto Byrne, Museum Curator Ronnie Delaney, Post 1 Mick Monaghan, John Toomey,  Joe O’Brien, Post 5 Des Keegan, Post 27 Martin Roe our Photographer and representing Defence Forces Sgt. Major John Murray.

On arrival we were met by members of Swedish UN Congo veterans and Per Carlborg who was our Congo contact veteran who represented the Swedish veterans.  A bus was arranged to transport us on our almost 2 hour drive to Ledningsregementet Enköping Garrison Barracks set in a beautiful woodland area with the kind permission of Capt Ray Lindahi.   This was a rest day and after an excellent dinner we had a few drinks with our hosts.

Tuesday 29th May 2018 International Peacekeepers Day we were on the road at 06.00 to attend Veterans Day.  On arrival we were met and introduced to Head of Veterans affairs Swedish Armed Forces Col Torbiorn Larsson and Sgt major Daniel Nybling Swedish Armed Forces Veterans Affair Office.  All veterans were issued with VIP Passes and were seated in the VIP area along with the King of Sweden Carl Gustaf Folke  Hubertus, The Minister of Defence Carl Peter Hultqvist, Swedish Armed Forces Supreme Commander Micael Byden and Military attaches from other countries.  The ceremony was performed in an efficient professional manner and was most enjoyable.

After the Ceremony we were preceding to the catering area for dinner, I was approached by The Minister of Defence Carl Peter Hultqvist, I recognised him from his speech.  He asked if we were the 11 Irish Veterans, I replied yes and introduced myself as National Chairman.  He said it would be a very great honour for him to meet each member of our party.  All fell in including Sgt Major John Murray and each member gave their name and a brief description of their UN tours of duty.  We then fell out.   Col Torbiorn Larsson asked if we could wait another 15 minutes before lunch as The Swedish Armed Forces Supreme Commander Micael Byden also wished to meet us, we gladly accepted the request.  On his arrival we all fell and like the Minister he spoke to each member.  He then gave a short speech on our excellent role on UN duties and paid his respects to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.  We extend sincere thanks and appreciation to these gentlemen for giving up their busy schedule on the day for their courtesy to speak with us.  After an excellent meal we returned to base and were entertained by our hosts.

Wednesday 30th May 2018 again an early start as we set off to Visit  the Vasa Museum in Stockholm.  We had a guided tour of the museum; it would take a day to see all the items, so we had a short tour as we were going on a Steamer trip.  This trip was greatly enjoyed by all, we docked and had lunch, then returned to base exhausted but still had time for a few beers.

Thursday 31st May 2018 once again another early start to Royal Lifeguard Regiment in Kungsängen where we got a welcome from Colonel Laura Swaan-wiede.  A presentation was made to her by National Chairman.  She then presented tie pins to us.
DCO Lt Col Gustaf Dufberg gave us brief on the courses conducted at the centre. Rtd. Lt Col Arthur Armstrong from Irish Defence Forces also gave a brief; he is currently on the staff at the centre.   A presentation was made to Col Torbiorn Larsson by Michael Colton President Post 1.   After the briefs and lunch we had a guided tour of a small military museum.  Then a wreath laying ceremony and the Irish ambassador attended.

We then made our way to the Irish Ambassadors Resident in Stockholm for a reception hosted by her.  This was enjoyed by all and the Ambassador conversed with all members.  She gave a speech on our role on UN Duties past and present.  Our one and only, Anto brought the house to the roof with his pipes.   National Chairman made a presentation to the Ambassador.  On our return to base we had a barbeque and presentations were made To Swedish Congo UN Veterans by National Chairman, Michael Thompson and Martin Roe.

Friday 1st June 2018 at 04.00 hours we were awake and alert in preparation for our departure to the Airport.  We were accompanied by Swedish UN Congo Veterans to see us off.  No words can be expressed for the hospitality, catering, accommodation, transport arrangements and courtesy bestowed on us by our hosts.  Their pre-planning was second to none and we were on time for all events.

As National Chairman I must express my thanks to all our members on their excellent punctuality for all the events, their dress and deportment were a credit to them.  We did not have a single hitch during the visit, except the mosquitoes. They took a liking to Post 1 Chairman.  I must make special mention to Anto our Piper, Martin our photographer and Mick Thompson for the groundwork.  Also Sgt Major John Murray, he was a diplomat for the Defence Forces in his dress and deportment at all times.

The Swedish Government and Army have great respect and honour for its Veterans.  They have a Veterans Affairs Department established in the Army with a Colonel and a Sergeant Major full-time employed in this office to cater for all the requirements and needs of veterans.  The Government allot half a million Euro each year to the Swedish Veterans to cater for their needs.  Meetings between the Veterans Affairs Department and the Swedish Veterans are held regularly during the year to organise events and finances.

Photo Slideshow will follow in Photo Gallery

National Chairman










vets-day The National Executive Committee thank all the members who turned out to parade on Veterans Day and also the members who turned up not parading.  This was an excellent turnout and all those who paraded were a credit to our Association in their dress, deportment and drill.  After extreme negotiation our numbers were increased from 60 to 90 we will continue  our campaign to have no limit on the numbers in the future.  The venue Collins Barracks turned out to be an excellent location and we should look to have the event there in future.  Once again thanks to all.  It was an honour to have our President Maj.Gen. Vincent Savino in attendance.










The Arch Bishop of Dublin is looking for volunteers to help at the following venues Phoenix Park, Croke Park and The RDS during the Pope’s visit to Ireland 22 to 26 August.  He made this request at a meeting with members of IUNVA today.

There will be a display stand in McKee Barracks on Sunday 13th May 2018 at Veterans Day.  Application forms leaflets will also be available. There will also be an information talk given by the group to the Post Delegates at our meeting in Arbour House on 19th May 2018 at 1300 hours.

Further details will be communicated to all Posts when available.  The National Executive Committee kindly request that we give our full support to this request.  IUNVA Uniform with ribbons will be worn at all events.  They are anxious that IUNVA act as team leaders for the event.  

Those interested must submit their names before 31st May 2018.  Family members over 18 years of age may also apply.  Between the age of 16 and 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.








 John Gorman was awarded Distinguished Fellowship Award at AIT Athlone on Friday 27th April 2018 .  




When I first read of John Gorman’s story, it was in disbelief and with a heavy heart.  When I met John a few weeks ago that disbelief turned to awe and admiration as in front of me sat a gentle and humble man who has spent a lifetime fighting for his friends and his colleagues who formed part of “A” Coy, 35th Irish Infantry Battalion.

You see the pain etched in his face and hear sorrow in his voice when he recalls his memories, but you also hear pride in the journey that life has taken him on since September 1961, when he was a wide eyed innocent 17 year old private that was part of an Irish Contingent of the United Nations Peacekeepers deployed in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

When you sit down with John and he recalls his experiences you have to remind yourself that this is not a story, it was his truth, it was the truth, and the subsequent years of gathering information  and campaigning for over 18 years in search for the truth to be recognised.

Between the 13th and 17th September 1961, 156 members of “A” Company, 35 Infantry Battalion were serving in the newly independent Republic of the Congo as part of a UN mission to keep the peace in a country that was descending into civil war.  However what was Ireland’s first ever international military deployment mission turned into a battle of survival and a fight for their lives that was to last beyond the 5 day battle in Jadotville to become a battle of a lifetime, not for their lives but for the truth to be heard, acknowledged and recorded.

In an article written by Time Magazine on the Netflix movie “The Siege of Jadotville”, it describes the movie as depicting a little known but astonishing story of heroism and against all odds soldiering.   The movie tells the true story of how 156 Irishmen led by Comdt. Patrick “Pat” Quinlan forced their 3,000 attackers to fight which resulted in killing 300 of them and wounding 1,000 while in contrast the Irish had remarkably suffered no fatalities and only five wounded.

However it was not a movie, or a story, it was the truth of what happened during the real Siege of Jadotville.

Today we recognise John Gorman and the tireless campaign that he has fought on behalf of his friends, fellow comrades and most importantly his Comdt. Pat Quinlan, not to rewrite the history books of what was recorded of those five days, but to correct them. To clear his and his friend’s names and to share the story that went unrecognised for over forty years.  Today, thanks to John’s efforts the siege is now recognised as one of the most heroic and wrongfully stories in Irish Military History.

Recognising Comdt. Pat Quinlan has been an important aspect of John’s fight over the years.  John recalls how he would often meet him on the street in Athlone and could see the pain etched in his face as he walked down the footpath.   Not only did this weigh heavily on John, but it drove him on during times in his campaign and clearing Pat’s name become a priority, for it was Quinlan’s inspiring leadership that saved the lives of all members of “A” Company,  Quinlan promised that every man would get home safe and that was a promise that he kept.

John Gorman grew up in Castlepollard in the 1950’s.  John was working from the age of 14 and got involved in the grooming of race horses at a local stable.  He always loved horses but to this date has never backed one.

He was encouraged by Major Bonham, his boss in Castlepollard, who always thought he was good with horses, to go over to England to the famous Major Lionel Holliday stables, to train as a groom or jockey, but John wanted to stay in his own country and he ran away from home, lied about his age and joined the Army in June 1959.  He was looking for a job, an opportunity and perhaps a chance to travel.  Little did he know what lay ahead of him.

While he joined the Army in Mullingar, John was eventually stationed in Custume Barracks, Athlone.  He was a baby faced 17 year old when he went to the Congo in 1961.  He had never been on an airplane, he didn’t even know where they were going.

There were 104 members of his Company who were single young men out of the 156 and for most of then it was their first time out of Ireland.  John recalled how the Yanks who flew the out were laughing at their old uniform and the little bags of food they had to bring on the plane with them.

As part of the UN Mission, “A” Company was dispatched to Jadotville, a strategic mineral rick town in Katanga.   What appeared on paper as a simple mission ended up in a fight for their lives putting John and his comrades against a formidable army which consisted of Katanga troops, supported by European mercenaries and settles who outnumbered them 20 to 1.

Comdt. Pat Quinlan, who at 42 years of age loved to smoke a pipe, knew instinctively that something was wrong and while most of his men were at mass said by Father Joseph Fagan from Fineas Castlepollard on September 13th the Katangans attacked leaving the Irish completely trapped.

John and the rest of “A”Company were lightly armed with 60mm mortars, Vickers machine guns, shoulder fired anti tank guns and Bren light machine guns.  They had one truck, two jeeps and only intermittent radio communications.  The Katangans had artillery and air support in a single Fouga Magister training jet.

Their fearless and intuitive leader, Pat Quinlan was a master tactician and negotiated a series of ceasefires with the Belgian major of Jadotville, which the Katangans continued to breach.  In the trenches Father Joseph Fagan gave the men the last rites.  After the fifth day the Belgians and Katangans looked for another ceasefire.  Quinlan  agreed to the ceasefire, and agreements were drawn up, and there were to be joint patrols between the Irish, and the Katangans.  An hour later a man in a hard hat came looking for their company commander and Quinlan was then told that he would have to surrender and that they were being taken prisoners.

On 17th September 1961 they were held in an old hotel in Jadotville until a prison camp was made ready in the nearby town of Kolwezi, where they transferred on 11th October 1961 and there they remained for six weeks.  Finally they were released due to a prisoner exchange agreement.

John did not tell his mother he was going to Africa.  The first she knew of this was when she got a telegram from the Army saying he was a prisoner of war.  She had been praying all night for the boys in Jadotville but she had no idea that one of those boys was her precious little John.

When they returned home there was no hero’s welcome, in fact there was deafening silence, the surrender was seen by some as an embarrassment and the treatment of the men lead to a lifelong fight tyo recognised the importance of the men and their leader who showed nothing but bravery and professionalism in Ireland’s first ever peacekeeping mission.  When I spoke to John he said that he always had in his mind that he was the person that to rectify this injustice, he felt it was meant to be hisd life’s mission and that he did.

All of the men returned home but their experiences in Jadotville and on arrival at home destroyed lives and turned some of them into ghosts who disappeared into the wind never to return home again.  Over the years the impact on the members of “A” Company, their loved ones, wives, children was tremendous and unfortunately the damage was untold.  John recalls how some of his friends and colleagues committed suicide, some turned to drink, some ended up in institutions as they couldn’t handle what had happened to them, the harrowing after effects of their experience and subsequent treatment on home soil.  The families of the deceased members worry John because he feels they should get an apology from the government as they went to their graves branded as cowards.

John took it upon himself to fight for justice and he felt committed to stay true to the memory of his colleagues and friends, John was always mindful in his heart to stay true o not just the members of “A” Companies suffering but also to the suffering of their families.

John left the army like a lot of his fellow friends and he went to England and worked in Coventry.  He returned to the Irish Defence Forces subsequently and served 26 years with them.  John retired as a Corporal from the Defence Forces in 1984, and then worked full-time on his campaign to vindicate the men of Jadotville.  For the past nine ye4ars, John was involved with Irish United Nations Veterans Association in Mullingar, and in 2009 he re-kindled the old Post 9 IUNVA in Athlone.

His family often asked him why he didn’t just forget it as the campaign had a huge impact on his life, but his courage, perseverance and stubbornness made him continue.  Sadly John’s wife, Mary dies after his retirement but he went on to find love again and remarried some years later to his beautiful wife Joan.  His children Sarah, Andrea and Derek and his grandchildren, Adam and Daire are to this day very proud of John.

When he started the campaign for justice it took him down a long and winding road with lot of highs and lows.  One of his low points was trying relentlessly to get someone, anyone to listen to him, to fight for them ,trying multiple avenues to get one person in power to listen to their truth, to read their truth, to be present in their truth and to acknowledge what truly happened.  This journey led him to finding members of “A” Company scattered all over the world in Australia, Spain, Canada and America among others.  John’s passion pushed the campaign on and on.  His perseverance shoner bright when no one else held out any hope.

His high point came in December 2004 when the Minister of Defence Willie O’Dea called him and said as John recalls, John I am granting you vindication, recognition and there will be a monument erected in Custume Barracks in Athlong dedicated to you and all members of “A” Company, 35th Irish Infantry Battalion.

However despite the relief, there was sadness attached to the vindication, because so many of John’s comrades had passed away.  Today, only 42 members of the company of 156 remain alive.  John recalls how he was sad for those great men that were branded cowards but be was happy that since the foundation of the Defence Forces in 1922, there is no company that has ever received the recognition that their Comdt. Pat Quinlan and his company has received.  The men of Jadotville were presented with a scroll of honour each, and a memorial was erected in Custume Barracks honouring the men of “A” Company.

When I asked John what would he like his legacy to be true to his gently, kind and humble nature he said that he would like to be remembered for what truly happened, no award, no pomp or ceremony, just not to be forgotten.

Martin Luther King Jr once said “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable...every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering and struggle, the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”

Ladies and gentlemen, it is my absolutely honour and privilege to have met a genuine person like John who has fought every step of the way for his friends in that fateful “A” company, those that are here and those who have gone but left behind families.  This is a story of bravery, courage and of hope, but this is not a story, this is John Gorman.

Written on the scroll that was presented to each of the men is as follows; “That which is painfully gone, let it be so.  Like the soil on the soles of your boots, but let it not be without learning that someday your children may walk in your footsteps” – Unknown Soldier.

President, it is my honour and privilege to invite you to confer the Distinguished Fellowship upon Mr John Gorman.

Citation written and delivered by Orla Thornton, Director of Marketing and Communications.
















  1.  IUNVA must protect our rights under The Constitution Rule 3 – Objectives -Paragraph 16 – “To oppose any proceedings or applications which may seem calculated directly or indirectly to prejudice our Association’s interest.” 
  2. No formal contact was made verbally or in writing from IDFVA to IUNVA on parading in St. Patricks Day Parade, Dublin. The first communication was posted on Social Media on 19th January 2018 by IDFVA.  It stated “IUNVA would be parading with them on St. Patricks Day, attending events with Dublin Lord Mayor and visiting Arus an Uachtarain “.   IDFVA also issued their draft St. Patricks Week Programme of Events without consultation; on final issue they specifically named 2 of our Members as Liaisons and attending events under the name of IUNVA.  They also listed IUNVA on parade in the order of marching as last Association, again without our permission.  IDFVA should have made official contact with IUNVA requesting permission before printing any details concerning IUNVA on the Week Programme of Events, it would have been favourably considered.   A few years ago our National PRO contacted the Dublin Parade Committee re the possibility of IUNVA taking part in the parade to mark the 50 anniversary of Niemba and they said NO, explaining that it was not in the spirit of the parade. We were very disappointed and agreed not to apply again.
  3. Contact was made with members of National Executive Committee seeking their opinion regarding the posting on Social Media by IDFVA about our Association.  It was agreed by all that they had no authority to do so without our consent and permission.  It was surmised that they were attempting to control IUNVA by the wording of the posting on Social Media.   IUNVA as a recognised Association will not parade under any other Association; we have no problem parading as our Association under our Flag along with other Associations.    
  4. National Chairman made contact by telephone with IDFVA Communications Officer on 19th January 2018 at approximately 10.30 am and instructed him to remove all reference to IUNVA from Social Media and Week Programme of Events as their Association had no permission or authority to state we would be parading with them. I also informed him most of our Posts had already committed their services to their local St. Patricks Day Parades countrywide as we have being doing for the past 30 years.  Despite this reasonable request IDFVA failed to remove the content and continued to include the name IUNVA in their publication releases and on Social Media without our permission.  I requested the Communications to send me details of the Parade in order that it could be discussed at National Delegates Meeting on 20th January 2018.  I received details by email at 14.12 same day from Communications Officer and a Schedule of Events for the Week.
  5. During the conversation with IDFVA Communications Officer he stated they were not happy if we do not attend the parade as they would be leading the parade behind the Army and he had attended a meeting with Minister of Defence during the week to finalise the events. We have written confirmation from Department that “Minister Keogh has not had any direct interaction with the IDFVA and has no involvement in any events being organised by that group! – Neither the Minister nor the Department has any involvement in organising the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin”.  “Our only contact with IDFVA was a request from them to accommodate ten members of Norwegian Veterans during their visit.  The request was refused due to operational commitments”.
  6. The matter was discussed at National Executive Committee Meeting, who are the delegates from all our Posts on 20th January 2018. All were in agreement not to parade due to the initial posting on Social Media without our prior permission and the false statement made of meeting the Minister.   We made a decision that our members could not attend in uniform, but could do so in alternative attire.  We are entitled to do so under our Constitution.   I informed the Communications Officer IDFVA of our decision on 21st January 2018.    Due to the fact that IDFVA had not removed reference to IUNVA on Social Media as requested, as IUNVA were not parading in Uniform we issued the Directive to avoid confusion among our members.
  7. We state we have no problem with any of our members joining IDFVA or with those who are members of IDFVA or any other Associations. It is not our policy to publish directives to our Posts on Social Media.  Our National Secretary is being accused of doing so on Social Media, you can rest assured this is a false accusation as he did not publish anything on Social Media.  It is agreed that part of the contents of a directive was posted on Social Media but not by The National Secretary.  It was done in error by a member from a certain Post who is responsible to maintain Facebook for his Post.
  8. IUNVA wish to work in harmony and upfront with all the Veterans Associations/Organisations in all matters and support them; it is our intention to meet for discussions on our role and theirs or any matters they wish to discuss. Social Media is not the way we operate; we operate on a one to one basis.  If this situation had not appeared on Social Media in the first instant and a proper approach made, we would have negotiated and may have paraded as IUNVA in association with IDFVA.  We are all veterans and unconstructive posting on Social Media is not in the best interests of all the associations, we should air our differences personally.

       9.  We do NOT need a Federation to control all the Organisations/Associations we work individually with our Constitutions and objectives in the interest of the Associations/Organisations.  We must sit down and work out  procedures to be adopted by all in the future organisation/notification of any upcoming events; this would avoid any misunderstandings for the better of all veterans irrespective of what Association/Organisation of which we are members.  “United we stand, Divided we fall, so let’s put a stop to these Postings on Social Media and work together with POSITIVE postings regarding all Veterans Associations.”  Working to-gather as individual groups we can have a huge impact on issues regarding Veterans Affairs, Support for our Serving Soldiers and other issues. 








 Defence Forces Veterans Day 2018 will take place at the National Museum of Ireland, formerly Collins Barracks, Benburb Street, Dublin 7, at 1200hrs on Sunday 13 May    2018.

It is planned that the parade and wreath laying ceremony will mirror 2017 in terms of sequence.

There will be no limit to the numbers of Veterans on parade, with the exact parade layout to be confirmed in the Ceremonial Order.                                    

 We fought long and hard with the Department to have no restrictions on the number of veterans on parade and finally succeeded.  We request your back-up to support us by making an extra effort to attend the Parade.

 This is also a family day, so please bring your families on the day to see our Association out numbers the others marching on the Parade.     

We ask Post Committees to start now to lobby your members to attend and start making transport arrangements etc.




J-GormanJadotville Tiger and Campaigner John Gorman is to be conferred with a Distinguished Fellowship on 27th April 2018 at the Athlone Institute of Technology as result of a submission made by Mr. Paul Clarke 2 Infantry Battalion Association.

This prestigious award is the Institute’s higher honour.  The Distinguished Fellowship Award shall honour individuals who, through active leadership and or scholarly endeavour over s significant period of time, have made continuing significant contributions to society, Ireland, the Midland Region and the local community.

Congratulations from National Executive and all Members of IUNVA.




IUNVA-colour-logo  Irish United Nations Veterans Association needs your support, if you are eligible to join our Association please consider doing so, you are most welcome.   If you do not wish to join you can make an annual subscription of 24 Euro.  Contact our office or post your request on our guest book page located under heading Services and Information on Web Site to obtain the necessary Forms.

Below is a brief summary of the Associations role, your joining our Association will ensure the future of our Association Membership or making a contribution will ensure we are financially viable to continue this role. 

  All our Members are volunteers and do not receive any payments for their work with the Association.   Our Association was formed in 1990 to assist our Members or ex soldiers who are experiencing problems due to domestic circumstances, depression and anxiety, suicidal thoughts or actions, financial difficulties or medical conditions.   Irish Troops have served with United Nations Peacekeeping Missions throughout the world.  Sadly, many soldiers of all ranks carrying out their peacekeeping duties in various theatres of operation paid the ultimate price.  Others paid a price in the form of wounds, injuries, and post trauma stress.   We acquired IUNVA Grave Plots countrywide for deceased veterans who served overseas and have nobody to lay them to rest.  Otherwise these proud men would be buried in “pauper’s graves”.    Other serious situations that were not envisaged have developed over the years, “Suicide by ex soldiers,”  “Homelessness of ex soldiers”, these must be investigated and eradicated as a matter of extreme urgency, it is our priority and main objective to do so.

Yours in Peace




143698721177587202298911174887861585224963n Our Photo Gallery needs to be updated by having names or events attached to each photograph to describe the photographs in each category.  Unfortunately the photos did not have these details when uploaded, in each category they run as a slide show starting with number 1 in sequence to the end.  We are looking for help in achieving this task so if anyone can recognise the names or events please contact us, you assistance is greatly appreciated.



 United Nations International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers will be celebrated on 29th May 2018 and United Nations International Peace Day  will  be celebrated on 21st September 2018.  Our Association has no set date to mark a special celebration annually.  If anyone has any suggestions or ideas that we could also adopt one of these dates each year for an event or celebration please submit to National Secretary.


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Contact IUNVA

Arbour House 
Mount Temple Road
Dublin 7 

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



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