Call for better mental health support for Jadotville survivors

It’s emerged that up to 10 soldiers who survived the Siege of Jadotville in 1961 took their own lives upon returning from the Congo.

150 men were part of a UN peace keeping mission to Katanga, a breakaway province,, when they were attacked by 3,000 soldiers led by French and Belgian mercenaries.

They held out for several days before a lack of supplies forced their surrender.

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While no soldier died in the attack, their efforts were effectively written out of history and only recently were recognised by the State.

One veteran told a talk in Dublin this week that while it’s known that five men took their own lives, this number is more likely to be double that.

Carrick on Shannon native, Matthew Quinlan was 16 when he was involved in the mission, upon returning he went to the UK and then to Australia.

His sister Bernadette told the meeting that he never fully recovered and ended his own life at 47.

Leo Quinlan, the son of Comdt Pat Quinlan who led the troops at Jadotville said the lack of recognition was a huge issue for many soldiers.