Today, the Minister of State at the Department of Defence, Mr. Paul Kehoe, T.D., reviewed the members of the 53rd Infantry Group who will leave later this month for service with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).
Speaking during the Review, the Minister said “Ireland has a long record of contribution to UNIFIL since the mission was established in 1978 and our participation in this mission demonstrates our strong support for the role of the United Nations.”
Addressing the troops directly, Minister Kehoe said “I am sure that you will all endeavour to maintain Ireland’s reputation abroad and contribute to the high regard in which Ireland is held throughout the world.”
The Minister went on to say “I commend each and every one of you on your decision to take on this mission. It is important to acknowledge that Ireland could not make such a substantial contribution to international peace support operations without the ongoing commitment of Defence Forces personnel to serve overseas in often difficult and dangerous circumstances.”
Minister Kehoe concluded by wishing the members of 53rd Infantry Group, under the leadership of Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Ryan, a safe and successful mission.