Red Legs: One Irish Boy’s African Adventure


Growing up in Ireland during the 1950s was a bleak existence, lightened only by rock n’ roll and Sunday evenings down at the Picture House. For many, emigration was a way out but for young Michael Greene, it was becoming a soldier that was to offer security, a warm bed and a way to save for his own escape to London. The 15 year old enthusiastically forged his birth certificate and enlisted: the world it seemed was his oyster.Little did Michael know that his adventure would lead him into the darkest corner of Africa, acting as part of a UN peacekeeping mission. Attacked by the people he was supposed to be protecting and forsaken by his own Irish military commanders, Michael’s nightmare worsened as his Company was held under siege at the Battle of Jadotville. Captured and held as a Prisoner of War, facing death by firing squad, Michael’s remarkable story takes us from the green fields of Ireland to the deepest depths of post-colonial Congo.


John Greene