Category Archives: News

COVID-19 Update for ARCO Members

COVID-19 Vaccination Programme The vaccination programme for COVID-19 has begun. However, as members will have seen in the media, it is not possible for everyone to get the vaccine at the same time. The vaccine will be made available to different groups of people at different times, depending on priority. The estimated time frame when […]

60th Anniversary – Lt Gen Seán McKeown DSM – Force Commander ONUC

On 07 January 1961, the Defence Forces Chief of Staff, Lt Gen Seán McKeown was appointed Force Commander of the United Nations Operation in the Republic of the Congo: Opération des Nations Unies au Congo (ONUC). Commanding a UN force of 19,828 personnel, Lt Gen McKeown established the Katanga Command, and served during Operation Rumpunch, […]

Commission on the Defence Forces

On 15 December 2020, the Minister for Defence and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Simon Coveney T.D., announced Government approval for the establishment of an independent Commission on the Defence Forces. The Government also approved the Terms of Reference and the membership of the Commission. Speaking following the Government meeting, Minister Coveney stated: The establishment of […]

Medical Clinic for Homeless Veterans

A monthly medical clinic, conducted by Dr Cathal Berry TD, has been established in Brú na bhFiann, the largest Organisation of National Ex-Service Personnel (ONE) Hostel for Homeless Veterans.  Cathal is a member of ARCO and a veteran of the Defence Forces having served in the Army Ranger Wing before qualifying as a medical doctor […]

Defence Forces Review 2020

The theme of the Defence Forces Review 2020 is: The global island: Strategic implications for Irish defence planning in the evolving geopolitical landscape. Edited by Lieutenant-Commander Paul Hegarty and Doctor Caitriona Dowd, this year’s edition is published in academic collaboration with the Dublin City University School of Law and Government. The 2020 Review reflects on […]

60th Anniversary of the Niemba Ambush

On 8 November 1960, an eleven-man patrol from Number 2 Platoon, A Company, 33 Infantry Battalion, ONUC, departed their base at Niemba, under the command of Lieutenant Kevin Gleeson. Having dismounted at a crossing point on the Luweyeye River, twenty kilometres from Niemba, the patrol was attacked without warning by a large number of Baluba […]

Ireland in the Service of the Future – A Film on The Congo

McKee Officers’ Club has produced a remarkable film celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the deployment of the first Defence Forces unit on UN Peacekeeping Operations with ONUC in the Congo. “Ireland in the Service of the Future”, featuring the 32 Inf Bn and 33 Inf Bn, was edited and produced by Gerry McColgan, supported by […]

Recent Department of Health Press Release

A Press Release from the Department of Health on 06 October announced that the Minister for Health, Mr Stephen Donnelly TD, has secured funding for a range of measures that will make healthcare more affordable for more than a million people across the country. This funding, which was agreed at Cabinet on 06 October, will […]

60th Anniversary – Company Sergeant Felix Grant DSM

On the 60th anniversary of his death, the extended Defence Community remembers with pride Company Sergeant Felix Grant, B Company, 33 Infantry Battalion, Opération des Nations Unies au Congo (ONUC), who was the first member of the Defence Forces to die on United Nations service.  Company Sergeant Grant died at the King Albert Hospital, Albertville […]

ARCOIreland’s Article in the Summer 2020 Edition of Signal

The Summer 2020 Edition of Signal, the journal of the Representative Association of Commissioned Officers (RACO), includes an article on ARCOIreland’s Profile. As a distinctive group of retired officers, ARCOIreland encourages and fosters our unique fellowship and comradeship. This derives not only from our extensive military service in Óglaigh na hÉireann, but also from our […]

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