I propose to take Questions Nos. 36, 40 and 44 together.
On the occasion of the 55th anniversary of the siege of Jadotville, I decided to issue a unit citation to honour the collective actions and bravery of the men of A Company, 35th Infantry Battalion. My Department organised and hosted a ceremony in Custume Barracks, Athlone, on Saturday, 17 September 2016, at which a unit citation was presented to the company in recognition of their collective heroism and professional performance during the siege of Jadotville while cut off from support and reinforcements.
During the ceremony a copy of the citation was presented to each member of the unit or next of kin in the case of deceased members. This was the first time a unit citation was awarded within the Defence Forces and I was delighted to be able to formally recognise the collective bravery and actions of the men of A Company, 35th Infantry Battalion. In addition, a specially commissioned insignia, which is currently being procured, will be provided to the members and the next of kin of deceased members of A company.
These recent steps to honour and recognise the bravery of those who served with A Company, 35th Infantry Battalion, build upon previous initiatives taken by former Ministers for Defence as follows. In November 2005, a plaque was unveiled in Custume Barracks, Athlone, to commemorate the events at Jadotville and the very significant contribution of A Company and of the 35th Battalion, as a whole, to the UN Peace Support Mission in the Congo. There was a presentation of scrolls in 2006. Portraits of Lieutenant Colonel McNamee, 35th Battalion commander, and Commandant Quinlan, company commander A Company, were commissioned. On 23 February 2007 these portraits were unveiled at the Military College and now hang in the Congo Room in the United Nations Training School in the Curragh Camp. In July 2010, the 50th anniversary of the first deployment to the Congo was commemorated in a highly publicised and well attended event in Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel. A Congo photographic book was also produced for the occasion, a section of which was dedicated to the events at Jadotville in 1961. A nominal roll of A Company, printed in copper, has been affixed to the monument in Custume Barracks and was unveiled as part of the 50th anniversary of the Jadotville affair in September 2011.
I am satisfied that the events and happenings to date properly honour the bravery of the men of A Company.