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Minister for Defence Simon Coveney visits Irish troops in UNIFIL

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  • Minister for Defence Simon Coveney visits Irish troops in UNIFIL

    Minister for Defence Simon Coveney visits Irish troops in UNIFIL

    From Department of Defence

    Published on 27 October 2022

    Last updated on 27 October 2022

    Simon Coveney, Minister for Defence and Minister for Foreign Affairs, is in Lebanon today to visit Irish troops serving with the United Nations Interim Force Lebanon (UNIFIL).

    The Minister is accompanied by the Secretary General of the Department of Defence, Jacqui McCrum, and the Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces, Lt General Sean Clancy.

    The Minister travelled to Camp Shamrock (UNP 2-45) to meet and preside at the medal parade for members of the 120th Infantry Battalion of the Defence Forces, currently deployed in UNIFIL alongside members of the Polish, Hungarian and Maltese armed forces which make up the multinational IrishPolBatt contingent in UNIFIL.

    In his address to Irish troops, the Minister acknowledged the great sacrifice made by Defence Force personnel being away from families and friends for prolonged periods. The Minister added:
    "You are keeping alive a proud tradition of Irish peacekeepers that stretches back unbroken to 1958. Ireland’s contribution to the pursuit of peace for over sixty years is something that marks us apart."

    He went on to say:
    "I am acutely conscious that, since 1978, the Irish Defence Forces have become an integral part of the community of this part of south Lebanon. This is exemplified by the humanitarian activities with which the Defence Forces have been involved in in conjunction with their participation in peace support missions for many years, including support to the orphanage at Tibnin, medical clinics run for local people as well as support provided towards water distribution and water purification projects."

    Minister Coveney congratulated troops on receiving their medal for overseas service. He commented that:
    "You should be immensely proud of the medal you have received today for your dedicated service to UNIFIL. I hope that, as you continue to progress and develop your career within the Defence Forces, you will have a chance to continue the pursuit of peace in the various overseas locations where our troops are deployed around the world.”

    In addition to visiting troops, the Minister’s itinerary included a wreath-laying ceremony at Tibnin Bridge to mark the 40th anniversary of the deaths of Corporal Gregory Morrow, Private James Murphy and Private Peter Burke.


    Ireland has a long and well-regarded history of participation in overseas missions mandated by the United Nations since 1958. In that period, Defence Forces personnel have completed approximately over 72,000 individual tours of duty in overseas missions. As of 1 October 2022, Ireland is contributing 548 personnel to various missions throughout the world. - Minister for Defence Simon Coveney visits Irish troops in UNIFIL (
    For now, everything hangs on implementation of the CoDF report.