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Paul Cushnan, Barrack Quartermaster Sergeant (retired) is a native of Westmeath. His father served with the British Army during the Boer War and World War I, he also served briefly in the National Army. BQ Cushnan enlisted in the Defence Forces in March 1947 at Athlone. He was sent to the Curragh Camp for recruit training and then served with the 5th Battalion in Dublin. He transferred to Custume Barracks, Athlone in 1951 and spent most of his career with the 6th Infantry Battalion. He volunteered for service overseas and went to the Congo with the 33rd Battalion in 1960 and to Cyprus with the 12th Infantry. He also trained with ‘B’ Company, the ‘Ranger Company’ which was a precursor to the Army Ranger Wing. BQ Cushnan was interviewed for the Military Archives Oral History Project on 11th July 2017.

In July 2017, Cushnan offered his memoires to the MAOHP. Here, he speaks about his joining the army in March 1947. In July 2017, Cushnan offered his memoires to the MAOHP. Here, he discusses his own experience of the Congo in 1960 with 'C' Company of 33rd Battalion. 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 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 to the newly independent central African country. From 1960 to 1964, 26 Irish soldiers lost their lives in the Congo.