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Minister Kehoe Reviews Irish Troops heading for service with UNDOF

Today, the Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Mr. Paul Kehoe, T.D., reviewed the members of the 55th Infantry Group who will leave in the coming weeks for service with the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) on the Golan Heights.

Speaking during the Review, the Minister said, “Ireland has a long and proud tradition of participation in peacekeeping missions. Irish Defence Forces personnel have served in peace support missions all over the world in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Ireland’s participation in UN and UN-mandated peacekeeping missions is a tangible demonstration of our commitment to the pursuit of international peace and security. ”

Addressing the 55th Infantry Group, the Minister said, “Soldiers from 16 counties around Ireland are represented among the 130 strong contingent here today, including 56 local personnel from County Kildare. For 48 of you present, this is your first tour of duty overseas.”

The Minister went on to say “To prepare for your deployment to the UNDOF mission, you have all completed a rigorous training programme. While this training has been demanding, it is necessary in order to ensure that all of you are well prepared to meet the demands and to discharge your duties effectively in the mission area in the Golan Heights.”

In concluding the Minister said, “Finally, I want to wish each and every member of the 55th Infantry Group, under the leadership of Lieutenant Colonel David Cowhig, a safe and successful mission. You are travelling to the UNDOF mission with my best wishes and with those of the rest of the nation.”

Note to Editor
At the request of the United Nations, following Government and Dáil Éireann approval, a contingent of the Permanent Defence Force was deployed as the Force Mobile Reserve to UNDOF on the Golan Heights in Syria since 2013.

The Irish contingent, comprising some 130 personnel, will replace personnel of the 54th Infantry Group who will shortly complete their tour of duty. The Irish contingent is based in Camp Ziouani on the Israeli side of the area of separation. Five (5) other Defence Forces personnel are also deployed in staff appointments in Camp Ziouani and one (1) officer is based in UNDOF Headquarters in Yafour, Syria.