Rose Doyle is a writer and journalist living in Dublin, where she was born. Her novels, nineteen in all, include Fate and Tomorrow, set in the African Congo of 1902. She has written for children, and for young adults, and her long-running series in The Irish Times, “Trade Names: Traditional Traders and Shopkeepers of Dublin”, was published to acclaim. Rose’s latest work is an updated edition of Heroes of Jadotville: The Soldiers’ Story, the story of Irish peacekeeping soldiers in the Congo in 1961. Comdt Patrick Quinlan, who led the Irish UN troops at Jadotville, was the author’s uncle.
HEROES OF JADOTVILLE
Read Irish Independent review – published August 14, 2016
“It is a pity that we, who never believed in the use of force, must suffer for the blunders of little dictators and stupid military leaders. . . We did not come here to shoot Africans, we came to help them. . . I was not prepared to let my brave men die for nothing. ” – Comdt Patrick Quinlan, Jadotville, September 1961
In 1961, during the United Nations intervention in the Katangan conflict in the Congo, central Africa, a company of Irish peacekeeping troops was forced to surrender to soldiers loyal to Katanga’s prime minister, Moise Tshombe. They were isolated, without water, supplies or support when they were attacked and forced to defend themselves in a brutal and bloody five-day battle.
In this new and updated edition of Heroes of Jadotville: The Soldiers’ Story, bestselling author Rose Doyle uses interviews, reports, journals and letters to bring answers and clarity to an episode long ignored. She blows the lid on the real story of what happened in Africa, exposing how Irish peacekeeping soldiers became pawns in an international struggle for control of Katanga and its mineral wealth. Comdt Patrick Quinlan, who led the Irish UN troops at Jadotville, was the author’s uncle.
God, my men were fine…Ireland never reared better sons. They would have died to a man if I had decided to continue. They never wavered … No man ever got the loyalty I did from those boys. When things were darkest they were always smiling.’
– Comdt. P. Quinlan, October 1961.
‘We knew nothing about the Congo and the army knew less.’ – Noel Carey, the company’s youngest officer.
Q & A with the author follows reading.
Netflix premieres a film version of Jadotville, directed by Richie Smyth and starring Jamie Dornan in October 2016.