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Independent Review Group - Jadotville


On 08 July 2021, the Independent Review Group submitted its report dated 30 June 2021 to the Office of the Chief of Staff.

The Report is dedicated to the 156 Irishmen who fought in the Battle of Jadotville in September 1961 and to their wives, children and families, who supported them throughout.

Bearing in mind the sheer abundance of material in its report, the Independent Review Group cautions against a hasty rush to judgment, with an overreliance on the executive summary.  Before arriving at any informed conclusions, this Report must be read in its entirety. 


  • Chapters 1, 2 and 3: Introduction, Executive Summary, Methodology.
  • Chapter 4: Historical overview of the regulations and procedures for Defence Forces medals and awards.
  • Chapter 5: Consultation Module, veterans, families, academics and experts.
  • Chapter 6: Re-examines the operational environment in Katanga during 1961, including the Battle of Jadotville.
  • Chapter 7: Records ‘A’ Company’s return to Ireland, 1961 – 1962.
  • Chapters 8, 9 and 10: Outlines and evaluates the process associated with the 1961 Medals Board, the 1964 Medals Board and the 1965 Medals Board.
  • Chapter 11: Examines the effort of those seeking recognition for ‘A’ Company during the period 1968 to 2020.
  • Chapter 12: Records the Independent Review Group’s methodology, deliberations, analysis, conclusions and recommendations pursuant to its Terms of Reference.
  • Chapter 13: Recommendations.
  • Annexes: Terms of Reference, Bibliography, Maps, Awards Recommendations 1961 – 1962, Circulated Jadotville Medal List, Katangese Gendarmerie, Nominal Roll – Consultation Module, List of Submissions, Key Players, Key Events, Weapons and Ammunition.

Please click on the document below to view the Report of the Independent Review Group - Jadotville


COMMANDANT WILLIAM (BILLY) CAMPBELL (RETIRED) enlisted in the Defence Forces in 1973, was commissioned into the Cavalry Corps in 1974 and posted to 2 Cavalry Squadron. He served as Personal Staff Officer to the Adjutant-General from 1985 to 1989.  He was Officer Commanding 2 Cavalry Squadron from 1990 to 1993 and Officer Commanding 11 Cavalry Squadron from 1993 to 1996. He graduated from the Command and Staff School in 1997 and was an instructor there from 1997 until 2000. He has served abroad with the United Nations in Lebanon and in Iran, as part of the United Nations Iran-Iraq Military Observer Group (UNIIMOG). He was a guest Partnership for Peace instructor in the NATO School in Oberammergau. 

He holds a BA from UCD in History and Geography, an MA in Military History and Strategic Studies from NUI Maynooth and has lectured widely on military history. Billy Campbell retired from the Defence Forces in 2007 and was General Manager of the Irish Farm Centre Limited in Dublin until his retirement in 2019. He is currently a member of the Executive Committee of the Association of Retired Commissioned Officers (ARCO), a member of the Military History Society of Ireland, a member of the Cavalry Club, and a member of McKee Officers’ Club.

REGIMENTAL SERGEANT-MAJOR MICHAEL (MICK) DILLON (RETIRED) enlisted in the Defence Forces in November 1975 and retired in August 2018, having given almost 43 years of service. He has extensive military experience both at home and overseas. At home his postings have included 2 Field Artillery Regiment, 3 Garrison Ordnance Company, 2 Logistics Support Battalion and DFHQ Ceremonial Section. He has served on 12 overseas missions in locations including Lebanon, Rwanda, Bosnia and Herzegovina, East Timor, Liberia and Chad. In retirement, Sgt Maj Dillon remains a constant advocate for veterans welfare, maintaining an involvement with the veterans organisations ONE (Organisation of National Ex-Service Personnel) and IUNVA (Irish UN Veterans Association). 

MS LINDA HICKEY is a professional archivist based at the Military Archives. She holds a BA in History and Sociology from NUI Maynooth and an MA in Archives and Records Management from UCD. Since qualifying as an archivist in 2016 Linda has developed a wide range of professional experience, including working as Louth County Archivist for 9 months and as a project archivist at the National Museum of Ireland.  

Linda’s first appointment at the Military Archives was as a contract archivist, from 2017 to 2019. During this time, amongst other projects, she catalogued all of the administrative records of the Irish contingent with ONUC, making them accessible in the Military Archives Reading Room for the first time. Between December 2017 and March 2018 Linda took a break from her contract work to intern as an archivist at UNHQ in New York at her own expense. In August 2020 Linda returned to the Military Archives as a full time civilian member of staff. Due to her extensive familiarity with the ONUC records and her experience at the UN she was the most eminently qualified member of the Military Archives team for appointment to the Jadotville Review Board. 

DR MICHAEL KENNEDY is a professional historian and currently the Executive Editor of Documents on Irish Foreign Policy at the Royal Irish Academy, a position he has held since 1997.  For the past thirty years he has written extensively on Irish military and diplomatic history. Michael’s many publications and articles include: Ireland, the United Nations and the Congo (with Comdt Art Magennis) (2014); Ireland, A voice among the nations (with John Gibney and Kate O'Malley) (2019); Guarding Neutral Ireland (2008); The Chief-of-Staff’s Reports 1940-1949 (with Comdt Victor Laing) (2010); Obligations and Responsibilities: Ireland and the United Nations, 1955-2005 (co-edited with Deirdre McMahon) (2005); and Irish Foreign Policy 1919-1966 from Independence to Internationalism (with JM Skelly) (2000). 

Michael has been a member of the Irish Manuscripts Commission, a Research Associate of the Centre for Contemporary Irish History at TCD, Visiting Professor at Liverpool Hope University and Adjunct Professor of History at UCD.

COLONEL JOHN SPIERIN (RETIRED) enlisted in the Defence Forces in October 1974, commissioned into the Supply and Transport Corps in December 1975. He retired in 2018, having given 44 years of service. At home he held a wide variety of appointments. Officer Commanding Command Vehicle Workshops in the DFTC, Command Transport Officer in Eastern Command and Air Corps, Administration Officer Army Equitation School, Staff Officer A Admin Section, Legal Officer 4 Western Brigade and DFTC. He was appointed Director of Legal Services & Military Prosecutions in 2009.

His overseas appointments in UNIFIL included Transport Platoon Commander, SO Maintenance and Transport Group Commander. He also served as Legal Advisor for EUMM- Balkans.

As well as being a qualified Barrister-at-Law, Col Spierin holds several other legal qualifications including Diplomas in European Law, Safety, Health and Welfare at Work, and European Human Rights Law. He has also completed the International Course on the Law of Armed Conflict at the Institute of Humanitarian Law in San Remo, Italy and subsequently lectured in the Institute. Col Spierin is a member of the S and T Officers Club, and a member of DF Legal Services Club.

BRIGADIER-GENERAL PAUL PAKENHAM (RETIRED) was commissioned in 1971 and posted to the Artillery Corps. He retired in February 2012, having given over 42 years’ service. He served in both 4 Field Artillery Regiment, Mullingar, and 2 Field Artillery Regiment, Dublin.

Brigadier-General Pakenham instructed in the Command and Staff School, The Military College. His DFHQ service included Strategic Planning Branch, Director of Artillery, Director of Cavalry and Director of Administration. In 2000, with the advent of European Security and Defence Policy, he was posted to the Western European Union Military Planning Directorate in Brussels.  When the European Union Military Staff was established, he was transferred to the Council Secretariat as Deputy Chief Concepts Branch, Policy and Plans Division. He has served overseas as Chief Operations Officer with UNMIL (Liberia), with UNIFIL in Lebanon, as a UN Observer with UNTSO in the Golan Heights and Lebanon, and as the Deputy Chief Operations Officer with UNIKOM in Iraq. Brigadier-General Pakenham also completed the United States Command and General Staff Officers Course in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Brigadier-General Pakenham is Director and former Chairman of the Military Heritage of Ireland Trust (CLG), President of the Artillery Club, Chairman of the National Memorial Gardens Trust Islandbridge, President of the Association of Retired Commissioned Officers, a member of the Military History Society of Ireland, an associate member of the Cavalry Club, and a member of McKee Officers’ Club.