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842576 Pte. Kevin Joyce MIA Lebanon

  • 26-04-2014 2:41pm
    Closed Accounts Posts: 245 ✭✭

    33 years ago tomorrow (27 April 1981) a United Nations Outpost manned by two Irish soldiers at Dayr Ntar near the village of Sultaniyah in South Lebanon came under attack by elements of the PLO.

    840638 Pte. Hugh Doherty (RIP) was shot dead, and his comrade 842576 Pte. Kevin Joyce (RIP) abducted and murdered. His body has never been recovered. Subsequent searches by Irish troops, assisted by other nationalities from UNIFIL proved fruitless.

    It is believed that the Armed Elements (AEs) responsible were a transient group loosely connected to the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) were on their way across country to attack an Israeli or pro-Israeli target and didn't want their presence in the area noted by UN Peacekepers.

    Equipment from the Irish position was stolen, including the 77 Set Radio, both soldiers FN rifles, and ammunition. It was speculated that Pte. Joyce was spared, initially, and forced to carry this equipt away from the scene by his captors.
    The area around Sultaniya is mountainous and barren with deep wide valleys (Wadis) and the hillsides peppered with Pre-Historic caves.

    It is believed that the Palestinian gang responsible were only loosly connected to the PLO, and led by one Abu Amin Dyak, a character described as a 'hit-man' on loan to the PLO.
    Dyak was at that time wanted by the Lebanese Government for War Crimes, and he was eventually captured and hanged. (I can only assume he was hanged before UN MPs could question him about the Dayr Ntar incident?)

    Kevin Joyce is not the only Irish Peacekeeper whose body is left 'lying in foreign fields' for the remains of 810552 Tpr. Patrick Mullins from Limerick, who died in action in the Congo (Armd Car ambushed by Mercenaries) on the the 15th of Sept 1961, was not recovered either.

    It is to the shame of Ireland that we can so readily abandon our MIA soldiers, when other countries are still actively searching the remains of their soldiers killed in WW1, WW2, Korea, and Vietnam.

    Have we 'officialy' stopped searching, and if so, when, why, and on whose orders?
    As an ex-soldier, I can understand that our military are hamstrung by various Irish Governments consisting of cheap, penny-pinching politicians that never wore the uniform of a soldier, let alone the Blue Beret, but always felt that the Army 'top brass' could have kicked up more of a fuss about our missing soldiers...but they didn't, and are unlikely to at this late stage.

    Then again, I don't remember the good people of Ireland kicking up much of a fuss about them either.

    'Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.'
    Matthew 5-9