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Minister Coveney reviews Irish Troops heading for service with UNIFIL

The Minister for Defence and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Simon Coveney, T.D., today (24 October) reviewed the members of the 121st Infantry Battalion who will leave in the coming weeks for service with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).  The UNIFIL mission continues to represent Ireland’s largest overseas deployment.


In his address to the troops the Minister said, "UN peacekeeping continues to be one of the most flexible and effective tools available to the international community in responding to crises around the world.  It is an investment in global peace, security and prosperity. The tradition of UN Peacekeeping is at the very pinnacle of what Ireland contributes as a global actor in support of a rules and values based world.” 


The Minister went on to say, “We best contribute to missions and operations by working with like-minded countries. In UNIFIL we have the lead role in a joint battalion comprising Polish, Hungarian and Maltese troops.  Collaborating with partners improves our interoperability and significantly contributes to the range and nature of operations we can undertake in support of the United Nations.  It also serves to improve bi-lateral relations, both political and military.    Peacekeeping has evolved into one of the main tools used by the United Nations to achieve this purpose.”


Noting that there are eighteen (18) female personnel deploying with the 121st Battalion, Minister Coveney said “We know that the greater the level of women’s participation in peace processes, the more chance that peace will ultimately last; the full participation and representation of women is a key priority in all our peacebuilding and peacekeeping efforts.”


The Minister thanked the families and friends for the support they provide to those serving overseas and concluded by wishing the 121st Infantry Battalion a safe and successful mission.  under the leadership of Lieutenant Colonel Damien Murphy.