Swapping Platoons before battle
Interviewed for MAOHP - 30/01/2017
Reference Code: IE_MA_MAC_006_MAOHP_003_K
Colonel Seán Norton enlisted in the Irish Army in January 1955 at the age of nineteen. Sixty-two years later, he sat down at Cathal Brugha Barracks to offer his memories to the MAOHP. In December 1961, Colonel Norton was one of three Platoon Commanders at the Battle of the Tunnel in which two Irish soldiers were killed. Norton was awarded a Distinguished Service Medal for his role in the battle, as did 14 other members of 'A' Company of the 36th Battalion. In this piece of audio, Colonel Norton reveals that when he was on the railway track with his Platoon Lieutenant Paddy O'Riordan was saying to him that they were in the wrong positions and that they should swap. Shortly afterwards, Joe Fitzpatrick, the Company Commander swapped the positions of Lieutenant Paddy O'Riordan and Seán Norton's Platoons. Seán potently notes that he would have been killed if he had not swapped with Lieutenant Paddy O'Riordan.