ONE CHALLENGE 2022
"26 FALLEN CONGO COMRADES"
Between 1960 and 1964 approximately 6,000 Irish soldiers served with the United Nation in the Democratic Republic of Congo. During that time our comrades were involved in many actions (battles) the most famous one probably being the Ambush at Niemba where eleven (11) Irish soldiers were killed by Baluba Tribesmen. By the time the Irish were withdrawn from the Congo a total of 26 Irish soldiers had lost their lives in the service of peace.
Recently a meeting was held in our VSC in Aiken Bks., Dundalk. Present at this meeting were, Jim McEneany, Pat Donnelly, Mick Reid and Neil O’Malley. It was decided that this year we should run a “Virtual Challenge” similar to the very successful event (Jadotville Challenge) which was run last year. Even though the Jadotville challenge was very effective and fruitful we have decided to make a few small changes this year in an effort to encompass more people who may wish to take part.
Last year the Jadotville Challenge concentrated on just “A” Coy., 35 inf. Bn which comprised of approximately 150 soldiers, their family and friends and a total of 402 people registered to take part in the event which ran over 5 days.
This year we want to increase participants by at least 25% which would give us approximately 500 participants, with a possible income increase of €15,000. To achieve this we have decided to broaden our challenge to embrace all Irish soldiers who served in the Congo from 1960 – 1964. This is approximately 6,000 and taking into account their families, grandchildren, etc., we believe we could have a target audience of over 20,000 people for this event.
This year the challenge will be known as “ONE Challenge”, with the tagline “26 Fallen Congo Comrades”.
The event will be the same as last year, which means it will be a “Virtual Challenge” which will allow participants to take part in their chosen sport, i.e. Running, Walking, Swimming and Cycling where and when they want between the challenge dates.
The challenge will run for 26 days in honour of our 26 comrades (who lost their lives in the Congo) commencing on Friday 1st July and finishing on Tuesday 26th July 2022. Each day of the challenge will be dedicated to one of our 26 fallen.
The challenge is as follows:
On Sunday 24th July 2022 as part of our “Diverse and Inclusive” strategy each O.N.E. branch will be encouraged to run a 5km “Run/Walk” (€5 per participant) in their own area. This is to give individuals the opportunity to make their own unique contribution and to be part of a larger group of people who wish to honour those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and remember those veterans who for some reason become homeless or otherwise need our support.
Awards will be provided for the following:
Top ONE Team (4 per Team)
Top DF Team (4 per Team)
Top Civilian Team (4 per Team)