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Minister of State for Defence, Mr. Paul Kehoe, T.D., Reviews Irish Troops
heading to the Lebanon
Custume Barracks, Athlone, 24 October 2012
Today, the Minister of State for Defence, Mr. Paul Kehoe, T.D., reviewed the members of the 107th Infantry Battalion who will be travelling to Lebanon next month for service with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

Speaking at the Review, the Minister said: “Today, I am again reminded of the great pride we can take in all that the Defence Forces have done – and continue to do - as peacekeepers throughout the world”. Participation in such missions as UNIFIL is a continuation of our proud tradition of supporting the United Nations in the cause of peace and security”. He told the troops that in continuing the work undertaken by the 106th Infantry Battalion, serving as part of a joint Irish/Finnish battalion, they “will be making a valuable contribution to the peace and security in the region”. Referring to the completed relocation last week of the joint Irish/Finnish Battalion the Minister said “you will be occupying the new Irish/Finnish Battalion Headquarters - UN Post 2-45”– I understand that the new Headquarters, also to be known as ‘Camp Shamrock’, is located south of Tibnin close to At Tiri in the centre of the Irish/Finnish Battalion’s area of operations”.

The Minister went on to say “performing your duties overseas can require considerable sacrifices. I know the dangers you will face and the hardships you will be expected to endure as part of your service overseas”. He added that “the Military authorities have assured the Minister that all appropriate security measures are in place to ensure the safety of all Defence Forces personnel serving in Lebanon”.
Speaking directly to the troops the Minister said I am delighted to see so many of your families and friends here today to bid you farewell and wish you a safe return home”.

The Minister concluded by saying that “on behalf of Minister Shatter and myself, I would like to wish your Battalion Commander, Lieutenant Colonel David Dignam , and all members of the 107th Infantry Battalion a safe and successful mission. You are travelling to Lebanon with our best wishes and with those of the rest of the nation”.

Note for the Editor
Ireland has a long association with UNFIL since its establishment in 1978. The main Defence Forces battalion was withdrawn in 2001, following 23 years of service with UNFIL. Ireland again deployed a contingent to Lebanon in 2006, for a period of 12 months, with a Finnish Engineering company, following on from an escalation of hostilities, when the UNFIL Force was significantly expanded under a UN mandate. An Irish Battalion returned to the Lebanon in the summer of 2011. The 107th Infantry battalion replaces the 106th Infantry Battalion which deployed to the Lebanon in May 2012.

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