Department of Defence and Jadotville

 

Sir, – I was saddened to read in Conor Gallagher’s article “Department has no plan to award bravery medals to Jadotville survivors” (News, August 12th) that the Jadotville veterans would be let down yet again by the country they served courageously. For the Department of Defence to hide behind its own bureaucracy in denying these awards is very disappointing. I hope that the Minister for Defence Simon Coveney will do the right thing while many of these brave men are still with us. – Yours, etc,

KEITH BRENNAN,

Newbridge,

Co Kildare.

Sir, – It is very disappointing to note that bravery medals will not be awarded to our surviving Jadotville veterans.

The matter “was comprehensively addressed in 1965”, according to a Department of Defence spokeswoman, and you further report that the 1965 decision was later upheld after review.

The reality is that the Department or the Defence Forces were not capable of comprehensively addressing the matter in 1965, or indeed for decades thereafter, such was the “in-house” underlying animus and apathy towards this military unit. It was only towards the end of my 40 years of service a decade ago that these soldiers had begun to be recognised, indeed even spoken of, in any favourable way.

Of those recommended for bravery medals at Jadotville, just eight men are still with us. The Minister should now award these men with bravery medals, on an individual basis, and thus in many ways bring closure to righting the wrong of Jadotville. – Yours, etc,

Col MICHAEL GANNON,

(Retired),

Kilkenny.