Minister Paul Kehoe attends 6th annual Defence Forces’ Veterans Day

The Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Mr Paul Kehoe, T.D., today attended the 6th annual Defence Forces’ Veterans Day in the National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks, Dublin. The Minister was accompanied by the Secretary General of the Department of Defence, Mr. Maurice Quinn and the Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces, Vice Admiral Mark Mellett.This event was organised by the Defence Forces to acknowledge the contribution that former servicemen and women have provided to the State.

In recognising this service, the Minister stated that

“I extend a very special welcome to former servicemen and women of the Defence Forces.  Today is your day – a day in which the Defence Forces acknowledges your service both at home and around the world. “  

The Minister went on to say “Many retired members of the Defence Forces have served on UN peacekeeping missions all over the world.  UN peacekeeping continues to be one of the most flexible and effective tools available to the international community in responding to crises around the world.  It plays an essential role in stabilising regions affected by conflict and in saving lives. Since 1958, not a day has passed when the Irish Defence Forces have not been deployed under the UN blue hat, in conflict zones across the globe.”

The Minister also acknowledged that “the commitment, dedication and service by members of the Defence Forces while on overseas service has contributed to the excellent reputation that Ireland and the Defence Forces enjoy.”  He commended members of the Defence Forces, whether serving or retired, for that commitment and thanked them, their families and loved ones for the inevitable sacrifices that this has involved.

Minister Kehoe concluded by remembering “the military personnel who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the cause of peace.  Some of you here today will remember lost friends and comrades. We will not forget those who have died while on active service overseas nor those who have died while on service in Ireland.”