Recently in the Seanad I was honoured to to hold a moment of silence for the Irish Army soldiers, and their counterparts from Norway and Sweden, who served as UN peacekeepers at the Niemba Ambush during the Congolese Civil War on November 8th 1960. The bravery, dignity and compassion these soldiers displayed in the face of true danger is a lesson to all Irish people, and after many years of being undervalued and forgotten I am happy they are finally receiving the respect and honour they deserve.
Their legacy lives on through the Irish Defence Forces continued and committed involvement in UN peacekeeping missions across the globe. To date, our nation has taken part in 20 missions globally and completed 70,000 individual tours of duty. We are the largest contributor per capita in Western Europe to UN peacekeeping missions.