Written answers

Tuesday, 21 June 2005

Department of Defence

Overseas Missions

10:00 pm

Photo of Peter KellyPeter Kelly (Longford-Roscommon, Fianna Fail)
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Question 568: To ask the Minister for Defence the number of Defence Force members who lost their lives on United Nations missions overseas and who are still listed as missing in action or missing, presumed dead; the names of the troops concerned; if he will provide a brief description of the circumstances in which each died; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21308/05]

Photo of Willie O'DeaWillie O'Dea (Minister, Department of Defence; Limerick East, Fianna Fail)
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I am advised by the military authorities that on 15 September 1961, Trooper Patrick Mullins and Corporal Michael Nolan were killed in action in the Congo when their armoured vehicle was hit by anti-tank fire from armed elements. While the remains of Corporal Nolan were recovered, those of Trooper Mullins were not. An investigation into Trooper Mullins's death by the military authorities at the time concluded on 29 January 1962 that he was killed in action at Ave Du Cuivre, Lubumbashi, Elisabethville, Katanga, in the Republic of Congo as a result of the hostile action outlined. Trooper Mullins is classified by the military authorities as "dead, presumed to have been killed".

On 27 April 1981, an observation post in south Lebanon manned by two members of the Irish Battalion serving with the United Nations interim force in Lebanon, UNIFIL, Private Hugh Doherty and Private Kevin Joyce or Seoighe, came under attack. Private Doherty was later found dead from gunshot wounds and Private Joyce was missing. Some equipment was also missing. The attackers are unknown. Extensive diplomatic and military efforts to locate him have proved fruitless to date. Private Joyce is classified as "missing in action presumed dead".

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