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Defence Forces

Tribute paid to 47 Irish troops who lost their lives in Lebanon

A wreath was laid at Tibnin Memorial to the personnel who died in service.

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TROOPS SERVING IN in Lebanon were presented with medals in recognition of their work there for the Irish Defence Forces.

Tribute was also paid to the 47 Irish troops who lost their lives in Lebanon over the past three decades.

Deputy Chief of Staff Operations (DCOS OPS) Major General Ralph James visited the personnel of the 45th Infantry Group deployed to the United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon (UNIFIL) yesterday.

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As part of a two-day visit to Lebanon, Major General James received an operational brief on the current situation.

He also presented overseas service medals to Irish personnel and laid a wreath at Tibnin Memorial to the 47 Irish Defence Forces personnel who died in service with UNIFIL since it was first established in 1978.

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Addressing Irish troops on parade Deputy Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces Major General James said that the area has “suffered more than its fair share of violence”.

But he said that the Irish Defence Forces, on behalf of the Irish people, “have stood steadfast as a beacon of light and hope to so many”.

He said that many lives have been improved by their presence, but this has not been without cost.

“[O]ur 47 comrades that gave their lives in the implementation of this mission remain forever in our thoughts,” he said.

I am very happy to be here to witness the contribution being made by the Irish Defence Forces in South Lebanon. I thank you for your commitment to maintaining peace and stability in the region. You give all a justifiable reason to be proud of our Defence Forces and all they achieve.

Irish troops were withdrawn from Lebanon in 2001, but returned in 2011.

130 members of the Defence Forces returned home to Ireland in early October after almost seven months in the Golan heights.

They were deployed to the UNDOF area in March 2014, and since then have seen the situation in the area change dramatically.

In August, rebels captured a border crossing, action which was followed by the kidnapping of dozens of Fijian soldiers.

Read: Irish troops arrive home alive as Golan Heights mission is ‘de-risked’>

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