The Defence Forces chief of staff promised to “hold feet to the fire” on a controversial review of the Siege of Jadotville as Minister Simon Coveney pushed for a speedy conclusion to the investigation.
The review group had planned to submit a report on Jadotville to the Department of Defence by the end of April but had sought an extension of two months.
However, the department grew impatient and wanted to have it ready well before the Dáil ended for the summer, according to emails released under FOI.
An email from the department’s secretary general Jacqui McCrum said: “As you know from the discussion with the Minister [Coveney], he is keen to have this recommendation well in advance of the Dáil term closing and, on that basis, mid-June was the request.”
In response, the then Defence Forces Chief of Staff Mark Mellett wrote: “I felt it was important that the request for an extension be realistic.
“Having tested the work schedule ahead of the Review Group, it was clear that the 30 April was NOT attainable. I will continue to ‘hold feet to the fire’ on this.”
Internal records also detail how the department was warned of considerable fallout from release of the report and its recommendations.
The department were warned aspects of the report were likely to cause “upset” and that there would be difficulties in managing the expectations of veterans.