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Serving in Lebanon for Christmas: 'I have Love Actually and Home Alone ready to go'

Lieutenant Thomas Quigley will be serving with the Defence Forces over Christmas.

“I’LL MISS MY family, my fiance Vivienne, my mam’s Christmas dinner and meeting up with the guys.”

Lieutenant Thomas Quigley will be serving with the Defence Forces in Lebanon this year while his family celebrate Christmas back at home in Ireland.

This is Quigley’s first year to be serving away during the Christmas holidays.

He found out that he would be away at the end of the summer and told TheJournal.ie that he felt mostly excited and apprehensive about the challenge ahead.

“I was definitly excited and my family understand because they know I’ve wanted to do this for quite some time.

They’re concerned but they’re also proud of me, that I’m fulfilling my ambitions.

Lieutenant Quigley works as a civil officer and spends time in both Christian and Muslim villages in Lebanon. Describing a typical day, and probably his Christmas day, he said:

“We’ll keep working and keep busy. I’ll probably be up at 6am and in briefings from 8am and finish at around 5pm, there may be other work that has to be done, everyday is different.

It’s a challenge in a completely different environment than what I’m used to, this work is also an opportunity to meet new cultures. So far it has been a real eye opener to see a total different way of life.

Love Actually 

Asked what kind of traditions he plans to try and keep alive while away, Quigley said:

We have a mixture of nationalities here, mostly Irish, Finish and Estonians so I’m looking forward to learning about some of their Christmas traditions too and sharing ours.

Quigley added that the chefs will prepare traditional Christmas dinners, while the band that usually plays rock and traditional music will keep the mood festive.

He also described how he won’t be missing out on his Christmas movie hit list, “I have Love Actually and Home Alone ready to go.”

Quigley will be back home early summer next year, after leaving in the beginning of November.

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