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Over 100 peacekeeping troops arrive home from Lebanon after Covid-19 delay

Minister Paul Kehoe has thanked them for their service.

Members of the Defence Forces in Lebanon (file photo).
Members of the Defence Forces in Lebanon (file photo).
Image: Defence Forces

MORE THAN 100 peacekeeping troops have arrived back in Ireland from Lebanon.

The troops were originally due to return home in May, but the date was pushed back after the UN Secretary General in April directed that all rotations be suspended until 30 June to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The UN has allowed some Irish troops to return home today, and the rest will follow suit next month.

Around 300 members of the Irish Defence Forces have been serving in the 115th Infantry Battalion since last November as part of a United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) deployment.

115 personnel landed in Dublin Airport today, and the remaining 170 are due to arrive on 1 or 2 July.

Paul Kehoe, Minister with Responsibility for Defence, welcomed home the troops and thanked them for their work.

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“I know this homecoming will be an emotional occasion for both personnel and their families.

“Due to the impact of Covid-19, this deployment was extended beyond the scheduled six-month term which has been particularly challenging for Defence Forces personnel and their loved ones waiting at home for their safe return,” he said.

Kehoe added that the personnel have “maintained the outstanding reputation of the Irish Defence Forces as committed, conscientious, professional and humane peacekeepers”.

About the author:

Órla Ryan

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