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largest ever class

Standing up to extremists and freeing hostages: Varadkar praises Defence Forces as new cadets are sworn in

Seventeen of the new members are women – the largest number ever commissioned from one class.

46972866831_05751eaa5e_o Commissioning Ceremony of the 94th Cadet Class at Dublin Castle today. Defence Forces / Flickr Defence Forces / Flickr / Flickr

SEVENTY-SEVEN MEMBERS of the Defence Forces were commissioned at a ceremony at Dublin Castle today.

The commissioning of the 94th Cadet Class represents the single biggest intake of cadets since the foundation of the State.

Seventeen members of the class are women – the largest number ever to be commissioned from one class.

46920835482_029c648e41_o Commissioning ceremony of the 94th Cadet Class at Dublin Castle today. Defence Forces / Flickr Defence Forces / Flickr / Flickr

Nine of the 77 cadets commissioned are from the Armed Forces of Malta.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Defence Minister Paul Kehoe were at the event, which was the first time a commissioning ceremony was held at a location outside of the Defence Forces Training Centre at the Curragh Camp in Co Kildare.

In his address, Varadkar said the Defence Forces “perform vital functions in our society”, adding that Ireland is committed to “advancing the cause of international peace and security”.

He noted that, through the country’s work with the United Nations over the last 60 years, Irish men and women “have fought and died for the cause of peace and in the service of others”.

Our Defence Forces have stood up to violent extremists, freed hostages, rescued nearly 18,000 people in the Mediterranean and tragically they have seen hundreds drown and recovered scores of bodies.

Varadkar added that being a member of the Defence Forces is “an enormous responsibility”, and praised the new cadets’ “courage and commitment”. 

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