McKee Officers Club had planned an event to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the deployments of 32 Infantry Battalion and 33 Infantry Battalion to Opération des Nations Unies au Congo (ONUC) in July and August 1960. Unfortunately, like so many events planned for 2020, this was cancelled due to Covid restrictions.

However, to mark the anniversary within these constraints, a small ‘Congo Group’ was established on behalf of the Club. This ‘Congo Group’ made use of a ‘home movie’ filmed by Lt (later Col) Paddy McNally during his deployment at HQ ONUC in Leopoldville in 1960-61. This footage was edited to include several interviews, including interviews with five Club members who served in that initial deployment.

The film, interspersed with photographs, is intended to be entertaining, evocative, to record some personal experiences and to show some long-lost film of historic events which might otherwise be forgotten. It is not intended to be a documentary record of the deployment or operations of the Defence Forces in the Congo and we ask you to please bear this in mind when you view the film.

It is particularly significant that October also marks the 60th anniversary of the deaths of Company Sergeant Felix Grant and Colonel Justin MacCarthy in the Congo, they were the first two fatalities on overseas service. The film includes footage of Colonel MacCarthy’s final journey home to Dublin.

This film should be of interest to serving and retired personnel, to view the film please click on this link.