Red Letter Day for Dundalk troops serving in Lebanon

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It was a red letter for soldiers stationed in Dundalk preparing to serve on United Nations peacekeeping duties in Lebanon next month as a ministerial review took place at Aiken Barracks.

Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform with responsibility for the Office of Public Works, Patrick O’Donovan TD, conducted the formal review of the Defense Forces contingent – the 120th Infantry Group – which will depart for duty in the coming weeks with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). The UNIFIL Mission remains Ireland’s largest overseas station.

A total of 74 members of the 27th Infantry Battalion join the mission.

During the review, the minister said: “The UN peacekeeping tradition is about saving lives and ensuring that others can enjoy the gift of peace.

The Minister continued: “Participating in peacekeeping missions comes at a price, a price that is being paid today by Irish peacekeepers serving in hostile environments and bearing the burden of being separated from loved ones… The commitment our staff takes across the world.” could not be created without the support of their families.”

In his speech, the minister also referred to the war in Ukraine and confirmed that “Ireland remains resolute in its solidarity and support for Ukraine and that Ireland continues to offer strong political and practical support to Ukraine and to the Ukrainian people seeking protection in Ireland.” will provide support”. Referring to the widespread public and community support for Ukrainian refugees, the minister said: “As we face our own numerous challenges, let us continue to open our hearts and homes to the Ukrainian people fleeing the terror that is being waged on it is exercised”.

Recalling that twenty (20) female staff are stationed in the 120th Battalion, the Minister said: “Irish women peacekeepers are an essential asset to any peacekeeping mission, where they fill the same roles as their male counterparts in the same difficult conditions. Promoting a strong gender perspective is a key element in all of Ireland’s peacekeeping operations. It is therefore important that women’s participation in the defense forces continues to increase so that this can be replicated in peacekeeping contingents.”

The minister concluded his remarks by wishing the troops of the 120th Infantry Battalion, led by Lt. Col. Denis Hanly, a safe and prosperous mission

Ireland has a long and distinguished history of participating in foreign missions mandated by the United Nations since 1958. During that time, Defense Forces personnel have completed approximately 71,000 individual trips on foreign missions.

The 120th Infantry Battalion is deployed to UNIFIL with 347 personnel, 9 Maltese and 338 Irish personnel. Irish staff hail from 29 counties across Ireland including Louth.

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