LATE SOL­DIER HON­OURED

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - NEWS -

THE Late Cpl Michael Nolan was re­mem­bered on Satur­day at the sixth an­nual Re­mem­brance and Wreath Lay­ing Cer­e­mony in hon­our of the Ir­ish UN peace­keeper. The cer­e­mony took place at St Oliver Plun­ket’s Church in Grage­con and was hosted by Post 21, Ir­ish United Na­tions Vet­er­ans As­so­ci­a­tion (IUNVA).

Michael’s brother, also called Michael, and his sis­ter Treasa, were both in at­ten­dance. Also present at the cer­e­mony was the brother of Trooper Pa­trick Mullins. Pa­trick also died while serv­ing in the Congo, but his body was never found - one of only two Ir­ish UN peace­keep­ers still ‘miss­ing in ac­tion’.

The Cathaoir­leach of Wick­low County Coun­cil, Cllr Ed­ward Tim­mins, ad­dressed the cer­e­mony and laid a wreath on be­half of the peo­ple of Wick­low. Also present were se­nior army of­fi­cers from DFTC Cur­ragh ad 2nd Brigade, mem­bers of An Garda Siochana, mem­bers of Post 21 other IUNVA posts, mem­bers of the Or­gan­i­sa­tion of Na­tional Ex Ser­vice Men and Women (ONET), 3rd Bn As­so­ci­a­tion (The Bloods) and other or­gan­i­sa­tions.

Fr Ger Ah­ern PP and Rev Mairt Han­ley led the Prayers at the Ec­u­meni­cal Ser­vice.

Post 21 IUNVA Pres­i­dent, Tony Dug­gan, also laid a wreath of flow­ers as the cer­e­mony was draw­ing to a close.

Af­ter­wards ev­ery­one gath­ered in Grange­con Com­mu­nity Hall to re­flect on the day and en­joy some re­fresh­ments.

Cpl Michael Nolan was killed fifty six years ago on the 15th Sept in El­iz­a­bethville. He is one of two men from Wick­low to die in the Congo, the other was Mick McGuinn from Baltinglass.

Michael grew up in Col­binstown and went to school in Grange­con Na­tional School, now the Com­mu­nity Hall.

He is still re­mem­bered by his school friends, par­tic­u­larly John O’Toole who is in­volved with the Grange­con Tidy Towns Com­mit­tee. He died aged 22, along with 18-year-old Trooper Mullins, when their ar­moured car was am­bushed in Katanga, a break­away prov­ince of Congo on Septem­ber 15, 1961. Both fought bravely against over­whelm­ing merce­nary forces.

Post 21 IUNVA at the com­mem­o­ra­tion and wreath-lay­ing for Cor­po­ral Michael Nolan at St Oliver Plun­kett’s Church in Grange­con on Satur­day. ABOVE: Michael Nolan lays some flow­ers.

(Clock­wise from top, left): Rev Mairt Han­ley, Cllr Ed­ward Tim­mins, Cor­mac Bec­ton and Fr Ger­ard Ah­ern.

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