Commemorative Plaque unveiled to local hero in Blanchardstown

February 6, 2018 0

On Saturday last, 3rd February the Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Mary McCamley unveiled a commemorative plaque in Blanchardstown to remember local hero Sergeant Hugh Gaynor, who died while serving with UN Peacekeeping Forces in the Congo in 1960. Sergeant Gaynor served with the 33rd Infantry Battalion which was deployed to the Congo in late 1960. On 8th November 1960, while on patrol at Niemba eleven members of the Platoon led by Lieutenant Kevin Gleeson were ambushed. Nine of the eleven men died including Sergeant Gaynor and Lieutenant Gleeson.

Mayor McCamley joined members of the Gaynor and Gleeson families, including Sgt Gaynor’s daughter Sarah Tallon, members of the Irish United Nations Veterans Association, including Private Thomas Kenny survivor of the Niemba ambush, Members of the Organisation of National Ex-Servicemen, and many local people for the occasion. The Mayor said: “It’s fitting that we remember Sgt Gaynor’s sacrifice and that of his comrades in this public way here where he lived in the heart of Blanchardstown”.  

The Mayor also warmly congratulated and commended Commandant Frank Russell for taking the initiative to commemorate Sergeant Gaynor and the other men who died at Niemba in this way. “I want to pay tribute to Commandant Russell’s hard work and to Sarah Tallon, Sergeant Gaynor’s daughter, for making this occasion possible” she said.

Lastly the Mayor also paid tribute to the 87 Irish soldiers who have lost their lives while serving in different UN missions in many parts of the world. This year marks the 60th year of such international service by the Irish Defence Forces which have the longest unbroken record of peacekeeping duties of any country in the world.