Michael Curtin at the IUNVA Congo veterans presentations in Custume Barracks last Saturday. Photo Paul Molloy.

Michael Curtin completed two Congo trips

by David Flynn

Athlone native Michael Curtin served as a peacekeeper in the Congo on two occasions.

Michael was just 18 years old when he became a corporal in the army, after doing the NCO course.

He first went to the Congo just after the Jadotville incident, as part of the 36th Battalion, and he was stationed in Elizabethville. He did his six-month tour of duty, and returned there in 1963 with the 39th Battalion from Custume Barracks and a full platoon from the Curragh.

“We didn’t know where we were going the first time, when we took over from the 35th, just after Jadotville, and all the ceasefires came into being after that, and there was flare ups along the way,” said Michael. “Johnny Kelly and Paddy McCrossan were with me in the 39th.

When Michael returned to Ireland, he and Betsy (nee Glavey from the Batteries) were married.


See report from the Custume Barracks event here

Read Pat McCrossan's army story here

Martin Flanagan was part of the final trip to Congo