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'Sorry I can't be with you': Christmas messages from Irish soldiers serving abroad

There are 424 Irish military personnel serving in 15 countries around the world.

THERE ARE CURRENTLY 424 Irish military personnel serving in 15 different countries across the globe.

For many of our Irish soldiers, Christmas will be spent in the company of their colleagues but not with their families.

The biggest troop missions are the 198 personnel serving with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and the 139 personnel with the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) on the Golan Heights in Syria.

Soldiers will also be sitting down to Christmas dinners in Mali, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Ivory Coast and Democratic Republic of the Congo amongst others.

Here are some of their messages for their loved ones back home:

'Sorry I can't be with you': Christmas messages from Irish soldiers serving abroad
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  • Christmas in Lebanon

    Pte Kieran Hughes: ‘I would just like to wish my two beautiful boys, my fiancé, brother, father and friends at home in Ireland a very happy Christmas and New Year. To my kids and missus, I’m so sorry I’m not with you right now, but you’re all in my heart. Love you three to the moon and back, Love Kieran aka Da. PS: Boys, be good for Mammy.’
  • Christmas in Lebanon

    Pte Thomas Murphy: ‘Happy Christmas to my little right hand man Callum. I hope you get lots of presents off Santa, lots of love. Paddy, make sure you bring Scooby out for lots of walks. See you all soon. Merry Christmas to you all, Ho Ho Ho!'
  • Christmas in Lebanon

    Pte Paul Clarke: ‘Happy Christmas Adam, Scott, Lauren, Alex, Dad, Alisha, Ella and Jamie. Sorry I couldn’t be there. Hope you all have a great day, love Paul.’
  • Christmas in Golan Heights

    Corporal Niamh Morrissey: 'Happy xmas to all my family and friends, especially my nephew Peter and niece Ella. Miss ye all loads and can’t wait to see ye all.'
  • Christmas in Golan Heights

    Captain Aidan O'Rielly: 'Happy Christmas to all my family, especially to my God daughter Elsie Mae Scally on her very first Christmas and to my beautiful girlfriend Ann. Lots of love, Aidan.'
  • Christmas in Golan Heights

    Gunner Robert O'Mahony: 'To my two sons Luke and Dara and my wife Bernadine and all my family and friends, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year'.
  • Christmas in Golan Heights

    The No 2 platoon 50th infantry group.
  • Christmas in Golan Heights

    Sergeant Grattan O Rourke from Cork: "Happy Christmas to all my family & friends at home in Ireland"
  • Christmas in Golan Heights

    Tpr Mark Horgan: 'Happy Christmas to my wife Donna my parents family and friends. Hope you have a wonderful time see you all in the New Year.'
  • Christmas in Kosovo

    Commandant Colin Lawlor: 'Happy Christmas to everyone at home especially to my wife Ann-Marie and my daughters Annabelle, Jessica & Aoife.'
  • Christmas in Golan Heights

    Gunner Charlene Bailey from Cork: "Happy Christmas to all my family and loved ones at home in Cork"
  • Christmas in Lebanon

    Cpl Junior: ‘Merry Christmas to all my K9 friends in Ireland. I will keep watch over your men and women on UN Post 6-52 until they return home to you in May, safe and sound! Woof Woof (Squirrel!) Woof Woof, XXX.’

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