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Minister of State for Defence, Paul Kehoe, T.D.,
Reviews Irish Troops heading for service with UNDOF

Finner Camp, Donegal

26 March 2015



Today, the Minister of State for Defence, Mr Paul Kehoe, T.D., reviewed the members of the 48
th 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 of State said, “For more than half a century now, our Defence Forces have played a vital role as peacekeepers throughout the world. Ireland has an honourable tradition of supporting the United Nations in the cause of peace, stability and security”.

Addressing the 48th Infantry Group directly, the Minister said,
“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”.

The Minister went on to say, “UNDOF remains an important element in ensuring stability on the Golan Heights. The continued support of troop contributing countries such as Ireland to the mission is vital to allow the mission to continue the implementation of its mandate”.

ENDS

Note to Editor

Following Government and Dáil approval Ireland completed its first deployment of a Force Mobile Reserve to the UNDOF mission on 28 September 2013. The Irish contingent, comprising some 130 personnel, will replace personnel of the 44th Infantry Group who will shortly complete their tour of duty. Four (4) Defence Forces personnel also serve at the UNDOF Force Headquarters.

In response to a request from the United Nations in July 2014, Ireland nominated Brigadier General Tony Hanlon for the post of Deputy Force Commander of UNDOF mission. Ireland’s nomination was successful and the UN appointed Brigadier General Anthony Hanlon to the post of Deputy Force Commander of the mission with effect from 20 September 2014 for an initial contract period of one year.

The mandate of the UNDOF mission was most recently renewed on 18 December 2014 under UN Security Council Resolution 2192 (2014) for a further period of six months up to and including the 30th June 2015.

UNDOF is assisted by over eighty (80) military observers from the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation’s (UNTSO) Observer Group Golan, with seven (7) Irish Officers. An Irish officer, Major General Michael Finn, is Head of Mission and Chief of Staff of UNTSO.



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