Dáil debates

Tuesday, 13 July 2021

Ceisteanna - Questions

Departmental Programmes

3:35 pm

Photo of Alan KellyAlan Kelly (Tipperary, Labour) | Oireachtas source

The National Day of Commemoration took place at the weekend in Collins Barracks. It also marked the centenary of the Truce in the Irish War of Independence. More than 2,000 people were killed in the conflict before the Truce on 11 July 1921. Hannah Carey was one of the last people killed. She worked as a waitress in the Imperial Hotel, Killarney and was hit in the throat by a stray bullet fired by a Royal Irish Constabulary, RIC, officer arriving on the scene after two British soldiers had also been shot. Ms Carey was one of 98 women killed in the War of Independence. Will the Taoiseach indicate what other formal commemorative events are planned during the year ahead? What is intended to mark the anniversary of the Civil War and the foundation of the State next year?

The National Day of Commemoration, held on Sunday, remembers all Irish people who have died in past wars or on service with the United Nations, UN. The Taoiseach will be aware of the long-running campaign for recognition of the heroes of Jadotville. This September will mark 30 years since the siege in the Congo. It is never too late to do the right thing. Will the Taoiseach and the Government support the campaign for the award of distinguished service medals, DSMs, or military medals for gallantry, MMGs, to the men of A Company, 35th Infantry Battalion? Thirty-three Irish troops were recommended for the DSM or the MMG, our highest award for valour, by their commanding officer, Commandant Pat Quinlan, after that siege. Those soldiers held out for five days against all the odds at their posts in Jadotville during the siege, which occurred nearly 60 years ago now. An independent review was established by the Minister for Defence and it was granted an extension. Will the Taoiseach commit to the report being finally published and can we, hopefully, expect a positive outcome? The Taoiseach might give an indication in that regard.


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