Loneliness of Congo
Interviewed for MAOHP - 15/12/2017
Reference Code: IE_MA_MAC_006_MAOHP_010_D
Here, Company Sergeant Joe Mallon reflects on his tour with the 32nd Battalion (32nd Infantry Battalion - Jul 1960 – Jan 1961) and discusses the loyalty and discipline within the battalion. He also reflects on loneliness on a tour and the importance of keeping oneself occupied as much as possible. In July 1960, Irish troops were sent to the Congo as part of the United Nations force. The Belgian Congo became an independent Republic on 30 June 1960. Soon after, the the Congolese government requested military assistance from the United Nations to maintain its territorial integrity. On 28 July 1960 Lt-Col Murt Buckley led the 32nd Irish Battalion (including Joe Mallon) to the newly independent central African country. From 1960 to 1964, 26 Irish soldiers lost their lives in the Congo.