The Late Tadhg Quinn, Purt Yard, Abbeyfeale, Co. Limerick

The late Tadhg Quinn (centre right) being welcomed by Chairman Con Roche at the 2020 Post 2 United Nations Veterans annual general meeting at The Fountain Bar, Castleisland in the company of Matt Murphy, Killorglin (left) and Tom Twomey, Castleisland. ©Photograph: John Reidy 10-1-2020

The death has occurred of Tadhg Quinn, Purt Yard, Abbeyfeale, Co. Limerick.

Tadhg passed away peacefully at home, following a brief illness, in the care of his loving wife and family, on Wednesday, February 28th 2024.

Tadhg is very sadly missed by his loving wife Kathleen, his children: Donal, Diarmuid, Maria, Helena and Caitriona; daughters in law Angela and Thérèse; sons in law Stuart and David; grandchildren: Muireann, Cathal, Róisín, Sarah, Gearóid, Aoife, Niamh, Laoise, Conall, Danni-Mai and Fiadh, his brothers and sisters, nephews, nieces, neighbours and friends.

May he Rest In Peace.

A Real Live Irish Hero

At the 2020 annual general meeting of Post 2, of the Irish United Nations Veterans Association in Castleisland, post Chairman Con Roche welcomed Tadgh Quinn as a new member.

“Tadhg Quinn is a real live Irish hero who was part of the 157 strong A Company 35th Infantry Battalion – said post PRO, John Wade at the time as he expanded on the what Tadhg and his comrades experienced in the Congo in 1961 and, indeed, since.

“In September 1961 he was part of the Irish contingent of United Nations peacekeepers deployed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to stop the country descending into chaos.

Five Days in Jadotville

“What unfolded over five days in Jadotville was a little-known but amazing story of heroism, against-all-odds soldiering and feats of courage,” Mr. Wade continued.

“A film, The Siege of Jadotville, tells the true story of how these 157 Irishmen, led by a tactically astute commander, Cmdt. Pat Quinlan from Waterville, Co. Kerry, repelled a force of 3,000 attackers, killing 300 of them — while suffering no fatalities.

Party To A Civil War

“The U.N. forces found themselves party to a civil war between the central government and Katanga, which was also supported by Rhodesia and South Africa.

“As part of the U.N. mission, ‘A’ Company of the Irish Army’s 35th Infantry Battalion was dispatched to Jadotville, a strategic, mineral-rich town in Katanga, with orders to protect the mainly Belgian settlers.

A Life or Death Fight

“In a move that has never been explained, two companies of U.N. peacekeepers—one Swedish and one Irish—had been hastily withdrawn from Jadotville, days before A Company was sent in.

“What seemed like a simple mission, ended up in a desperate life or death fight, pitting the Irish against a well-armed enemy, which consisted of Katangan troops supported by European mercenaries and settlers who outnumbered them 20 to one.

Katangans Attacked

“While most of Quinlan’s men were at mass on September 13, the Katangans attacked, probably with the aim of taking the Irish as prisoners and using them as leverage in negotiations with the U.N.

“Sergeant John Monahan was the first to see the first wave of attackers coming. Monahan rushed to the nearest machine gun and opened fire….so began the battle.

“The Irish were hit by mortars and heavy machine gun fire and strafed by the Fouga jet.

Out of Water and Ammunition

“The same airplane later dropped bombs, damaging the Irish vehicles and buildings.

Surrounded and battling day and night for five days, the Irish troops ran out of water and ammunition and, to save his men from slaughter, Quinlan ordered them to lay down their arms. “They had killed 300 of their attackers and five Irish soldiers were wounded but all survived.

“They were kept prisoner’s for five weeks and when they returned home, in December, there was to be no heros welcome.

The ‘surrender’ of A Company was seen by some as a national embarrassment which completely overshadowed the men’s courage and competence.

Fight for Recognition

“The treatment of the Jadotville troops infuriated the soldiers and their families and led to a decades-long fight to recognize the importance of the battle.

Jadotville was swept under the carpet. These men should have been heroes, instead they were subject to humiliation and in some cases abuse for their involvement.

“The men’s bravery was finally acknowledged, awarded a Unit Citation and a specially struck medal – too late for many who had passed away, including the officer whose actions in defence are now taught in many military training establishments throughout the world,” Mr. Wade concluded.

His comrades from Post 2 of the Irish United Nations Veterans Association will accompany Tadhg’s remains to his final resting place in Abbeyfeale at the weekend.

Tadhg’s Funeral Arrangements

Reposing at Harnett’s Funeral Home, The Square, Abbeyfeale (V94 AK44) on Friday, 1st March 1st from 6pm. until 8pm.

Funeral cortège will depart Tadhg’s home on Saturday, March 2nd at 1.15 p.m. enroute to The Church of The Assumption, Abbeyfeale to arrive for Requiem Mass at 2pm.

Requiem Mass will be live streamed on the following link:

Interment afterwards in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Abbeyfeale. Family flowers only please.

A donation in memory of Tadhg to either of the following charities would be greatly appreciated: The Irish Cancer Society: Milford Care Centre:

Date Published: Wednesday, February 28th 2024. Date of Death: Wednesday, February 28th 2024.

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