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Minister secures Dáil approval for Lebanon mission

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  • Minister secures Dáil approval for Lebanon mission

    Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Mr Alan Shatter, T.D. secures Dáil approval for Lebanon mission

    21 April 2011

    Today, the Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Mr Alan Shatter, T.D., secured the approval of Dáil Éireann for the deployment of up to 440 Irish troops to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). This completes the Triple Lock mechanism of UN, Government and Dáil approval before deploying members of the Defence Forces overseas.
    It is planned that the Defence Forces would deploy an advance group to southern Lebanon on 23 May 2011, with the main contingent being deployed towards the end of June 2011. Initially, the deployment will be for 1 year subject to renewal of the mandate and a satisfactory review of the mission. The UN will be advised that Ireland’s participation will not exceed a maximum of 3 to 4 years.

    Speaking following the Dáil’s approval, the Minister said: “It is vitally important for Ireland to maintain a level of commitment to international peacekeeping operations and the obligations it has assumed through its membership of the UN. Overseas operations contribute greatly also to the professional development of the Defence Forces”.

    Minister Shatter added: “Ireland’s participation in UNIFIL is an illustration of the very positive and practical difference that small countries like Ireland can make in the world's trouble spots by supporting the United Nations ”.


    Note for Editors:

    Ireland has a long association with UNIFIL since its establishment in 1978. The main Defence Forces battalion was withdrawn in 2001 following 23 years of service with UNIFIL. Ireland again deployed a contingent to Lebanon in 2006, for a period of 12 months, with a Finnish Engineering company, following on from an escalation of hostilities, when the UNIFIL Force was significantly expanded under a UN mandate.