UN hero of the Congo is honoured
UN Veterans, family members and members of the defence forces, were among a large gathering in Barntown recently for the annual Mass and Wreath Laying for Private Andy Wickham, who was killed in action in the Congo on 1961.
Andy was killed along with his commanding officer, Lieutenant Paddy O'Riordan, in the first burst of gunfire during an engagement with Katangan forces at Elizabethville during what became known as the Congo Emergency.
The men were killed during the final assault on a strategic railway tunnel at 6 a.m. on December 16, 1961, when they came under heavy fire from the gendarmerie and Katangan forces in railway carriages. Sgt Patrick Mulcahy died on the same day from wounds suffered during the fighting on the previous Thursday.
All were members of A Company, 36th Battalion.
Andy left a widow, Eleanor, and six young children.
One of them, also named Andy, is an airman with the Air Corps, based at Baldonnel.
The family was represented at the mass by Eleanor, his sister Patricia, brothers Martin and Richard, sons Gary, Andy and David and daughter Imelda.
Members of the Oireachtas, Wexford councillors, members U.N. Veterans, ONE, were among those attending.