Happy Christmas: Irish Defence Forces Overseas

The Irish Defence Forces has the longest unbroken record of overseas service with the United Nations of any country in the world since first deploying to a United Nations’ mission in 1958.

In 2020, Defence Forces personnel were deployed on United Nations, NATO PfP (Partnership for Peace), EU CSDP (Common Security and Defence Policy) and OSCE Peace Support and Crisis Management Operations across 14 missions in 13 countries. There are currently 581 Defence Forces personnel serving overseas.

Happy Christmas video from Lebanon

The largest Defence Forces deployment overseas is with the United National Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), where 345 Irish soldiers currently serve. This includes an infantry battalion, who patrol along the Blue Line in the South in order to maintain a safe and secure environment. In November 2019, Ireland partnered with Poland on this mission, enhancing and developing our interoperability with Partner Nations. The Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) also contribute nine personnel to IRISHPOLBATT.

The second largest deployment for the Defence Forces is with the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in the Golan Heights, Syria, where 138 Irish soldiers currently serve. The Irish infantry group provides UNDOF’s Force Reserve Company which acts as the mission’s quick reaction force. Irish staff officers also serve in UNDOF HQ where Brigadier General Maureen O’Brien has held the appointment of Deputy Force Commander since September 2019.

The Defence Forces has a small number of soldiers deployed to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). The Defence Forces contribution to this mission includes staff officers in Force HQ in Bamako and an Army Ranger Wing (ARW) team with the German Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance (ISR) Task Force in the east of the country. Also deployed to Mali are 20 Irish soldiers who serve with European Union Training Mission (EUTM) Mali, delivering education and training to the Malian Armed Forces.

The Defence Forces also has small numbers of soldiers deployed to missions such as EUFOR in Bosnia, KFOR in Kosovo, as well as staff officers and observers serving in Congo and Western Sahara.

The Defence Forces currently has three personnel (2 x Naval Service, 1 x Air Corps) deployed to the Operational HQ of the EU Naval Force Mediterranean (EUNAVFORMED) Operation ‘Irini’ (Greek for ‘peace’) in Rome. The operation’s core task is the implementation of the UN arms embargo on Libya through the use of aerial, satellite, and maritime assets. One if its secondary tasks is to disrupt the business model of human smuggling and trafficking networks.

In August 2019, ten personnel deployed as part of the Force HQ Staff with the EU Battlegroup (EUBG) 2020 to Stadtallendorf, Germany. In January 2021, this commitment will come to and end.

Since joining the United Nations in 1955, Ireland has served on the Security Council on three occasions: 1962; 1981 – 1981; and 2001 – 2002. On 01 January 21, Ireland will begin its fourth term on the Security Council, playing a constructive role to help prevent conflicts and build peace around the world.

View More Messages

 

 

STORIES FROM OUR IRISH DIASPORA 2020

  • Ireland

    Life Never Stops Teaching: Kate Ferris

    Dublin, the best little city in the world. Ireland is beautiful because the people are beautiful.
    Read More
  • Denmark

    Sean in the Shed: Sean Needham

    Throughout the past few years Seán Needham and the Red Lake Band have been bringing their blend of ‘upbeat folk rock’ to audiences across Denmark and Ireland. This year has been a quite on with no travel and very few gigs but this has given Sean a chance to work on some new tracks. This is the latest one “Ireland” is about missing home when living abroad. 
    Read More
  • Canada

    The Greatest Gift: Samara O’Gorman

    Once we get through these strange times, we’ll have Christmas like it always was; close friends and family, warm food, laughter and no shortage of cheer. However- even though some traditions may be cancelled this year- something surely couldn’t be cancelled, which is love.
    Read More

FOLLOW US @TOBEIRISH

Follow Us

WOULD YOU LIKE TO TAKE PART?

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER