Paul Kehoe in Lebanon visit to Irish UNIFIL troops
Minister with Responsibility for Defence Paul Kehoe was in Lebanon last week for the Transfer of Authority ceremony to Major General Michael Beary as Head of Mission and Force Commander for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).
The ceremony was held at UNIFIL Headquarters in Naqoura where Major General Beary will be based.
During the visit Minister Kehoe took the opportunity to meet the 53rd Infantry Group comprising Irish men and Irish women from all over the country, including Wexford, at the headquarters of the Finnish/Irish Battalion (UN Post 2.45) and to UN Post 6.52 on the 'Blue Line'.
In addressing the troops Minister Kehoe said 'I want to acknowledge the work you are doing and the commitment you give to maintaining peace and security in the region, without this contribution the UN could not undertake these missions and many more lives would be lost."
Minister Kehoe said he was 'mindful of the great sacrifices which the troops make, and understands how much you all miss your homes, your families and your loved ones'
UNIFIL represents Ireland's largest overseas deployment, with some 200 personnel serving in Lebanon as part of a Finnish/Irish Battalion.