Book recounting army man’s Balkan war experience to be launched in Newbridge

Col Colm Doyle give's eye witness account of war crimes

Conor McHugh

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Conor McHugh

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conor.mchugh@leinsterleader.ie

Book recounting army man’s Balkan war experience to be launched in Newbridge

The book titled 'Witness to War Crimes'

A book on the Balkan War will be launched in the Riverbank Arts Centre in Newbridge on Friday, June 8

The launch will be preceded by a talk by Col. Desmond Travers (Retd).

Witness to War Crimes, the Memoirs of an Irish Peacekeeper in Bosnia has been written by Col Colm Doyle, who had a ringside seat to many of the kep moments in that conflict.

The early 1990s saw Europe’s first conflict for almost 40 years when bitter fighting broke out in the former Yugoslav republic.

Colonel Doyle, who spent much of his military career in the Curragh, found himself in the midst of the appalling civil war when, in October 1991, he became first a European Community Monitor, and almost immediately head of the Monitor Mission in besieged Sarajevo.

After six months he was appointed Personal Representative to Lord Carrington, Chairman of the Peace Conference on Yugoslavia.

In this memoir, he describes his role mediating, negotiating and persuading political and military leaders of all sides to halt the seemingly inexorable path to all-out civil war.

He arranged cease-fires, visited prisoner-of-war camps, extricated election monitors and organised hostage releases.

His experiences made him a key witness at the International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague at the trials of Milosevic, Mladic and Karadzic.

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With his unprecedented access, Doyle’s personal account can claim to be one of the most significant insights to the brutal Bosnian War.

During Colonel Colm Doyle’s career with the Irish Defence Forces, he served with the United Nations in Cyprus, Lebanon and Syria. He was Chief-of-Staff of the Military Division at the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations in New York; Director of Public Relations for the Defence Forces and Commandant of both the UN Training School, Ireland and the Military College.

His experiences with the EU in Bosnia are the subject of this book.

He holds a Master’s Degree in International Studies from the University of Limerick. He is married with four adult children.