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Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Mr. Paul Kehoe, T.D., welcomed His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales to the United Nations Training School Ireland, Curragh Camp, Co Kildare

The Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Mr. Paul Kehoe, T.D., today welcomed His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, to the Curragh Camp, Co Kildare. The Prince of Wales was visiting the United Nations Training School Ireland (UNTSI) which is based in the Curragh Camp. UNTSI was established with the principal aim of ensuring that the Defence Forces training for peacekeeping is of the highest standards in all aspects of today's complex peace support operations.

During his visit, the Prince of Wales met students on the Humanitarian Disaster Assistance Course which is sponsored by Co-operation and Working Together (CAWT). CAWT is a partnership between the Health and Social Care Services of Northern Ireland and Ireland which facilitates cross border collaborative working in health and social care. Commenting on the visit to UNTSI, Minister Kehoe said “Since its establishment as a focal point for the preparation of Defence Force personnel for Peace Support Operations, UNTSI has developed important relationships with military and civilian training institutions, significantly enhancing the courses which it provides. This collaborative approach makes UNTSI an ideal partner for CAWT in delivering the cross border Humanitarian Disaster Assistance Course for the benefit of emergency responders North and South. The Defence Forces will continue to build on partnerships such as this while retaining its focus on the training and preparation of Defence Force personnel for participation in Peace Support Operations.”

The Prince of Wales, accompanied by Minister Kehoe, also met Cadets from the 93rd Cadet Class and personnel deployed to Sierra Leone during 2014/2015 as part of the international response to the Ebola Crises in West Africa. In commending those members of the Defence Forces who participated in the Ebola response, the Minister said that “there is no doubt that the contribution of the Defence Forces to initiatives in Sierra Leone assisted in the international effort to fight Ebola in West Africa. But more than that, it has had a lasting legacy within the Defence Forces. It has provided valuable lessons which have been used in developing medical protocols necessary to train Naval Service personnel for the humanitarian deployment to the Mediterranean.”
The Minister also commended CAWT for their dedicated work to enhance emergency medical response planning and joint training between both jurisdictions.