Advertisements

Posts Tagged ‘ Paul Kehoe ’

Irish Troops Reviewed Ahead Of Lebanon Mission

Three hundred Irish soldiers, including eight fathers and sons, are to be deployed to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) next month. Minister of State for the Department of Defence, Paul Kehoe, Chief of Staff for the Defence Forces, Lieutenant-General Sean McCann, and Councillor Jim Henson reviewed the troops today in Athlone.

The review was the final phase of the battalion’s training as they get ready for their deployment next month.

At the review the Minister spoke of the proud tradition of Irish peacekeeping in the area. “I am again reminded of the great pride we can take in all that the Defence Forces have done and continue to do as peacekeepers throughout the world”.

Irish troops have been carrying out peacekeeping operations in the Middle East since 1958 and began working as part of UNIFIL in 1978. They are currently operating under the UN resolution which aims to monitor the end of hostilities between Israel and Lebanon, assist the Lebanese government in securing its borders, and ensure humanitarian access to the civilian population.

“Participation in missions such as UNIFIL is a continuation of our proud tradition of supporting the United Nations in the cause of peace and security”, Mr Kehoe said.

The regiment, which is made up of 300 Irish troops and 177 Finnish troops, is set to depart for the Middle Eastern country on the 6th and 15th of November. They will be taking over from the 106th Infantry Battalion which had been serving in the destabilised region with UNIFIL since May.

The minister acknowledged the challenges the men and women of the 107th infantry will face, alluding to the recent upheaval in the country and in the surrounding areas.

“We have all witnessed on our television screens just how volatile the Lebanon and the Middle East are at the moment. Performing your duties overseas can require considerable sacrifices. I know the dangers you will face and the hardships you will be expected to endure as part of your service overseas”.

Last week a Lebanese intelligence official, Brigadier General Wissam Al-Hassan, was killed when a car bomb went off in a residential area of Beirut.

The IrishFinn battalion, as it is known, will occupy a post just south of the village of At Tiri, chosen for its visibility of the surrounding areas and proximity to the smaller Irish UN posts.

A spokesperson for the Irish Defence Forces outlined the risks in deploying troops into the area – “There are real risks in operating in an area where there has been recent conflict. The area is a volatile environment and there is still debris, such as mines, left from previous wars. Troops heading to the Middle East have to be mindful of the dangers which can arise at any moment.”

When asked about how the events in Syria were affecting peacekeeping in the area they said “day to day operations have not been affected yet but geographically we are very close to the conflict zone so we have to be wary of that.”

Advertisements

Kenny Deals His Hand

 

New Taoiseach Enda Kenny has revealed his cabinet after succesfully winning a Dàil vote by 117 votes to 27. 

After gaining the seal of approval from president Mary McAleese, Kenny returned to the Dàil to outline the TD`s he has chosen to help secure the future of Ireland.

The Fine Gael leader has spread out the ministerial positions with his party taking 10 positions, with a further position coming in the form of the chief  whip, which Wexford TD Paul Kehoe has taken.

The Labour party have taken up 6 positions, with party leader Eamon Gilmore taking on the role of Tànaiste aswel as Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Michael Noonan has been named as the new Minister for Finance, completing a remarkable turnaround  for the former Fine Gael leader, who was in charge when the party suffered their worst ever results during the 2002 elections.

Former Finance Minister and Labour party member Ruairi Quinn, who held the position from 1994-97 has taken up the role of Minister For Education and Skills.

His party colleague Brendan Howlin takes on the role of Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.

Richard Bruton, who famously failed in a heave against Kenny last year has been given the portfolio for Minister for Enterprise, Jobs and Economic Planning.

Labour Deputy leader Joan Burton is the new Minister for Social Protection.

Former Kerry footballer and Fine Gael candidate Jimmy Deenihan is the new Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht affairs.

Former Labour Party leader Pat Rabbitte has taken on the ministry for communications, energy and national resources.

Phil Hogan, a trusted supporter of Kenny during Bruton`s failed heave is the new Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government.

Fine Gael`s Alan Shatter is the Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence.  

Former MEP Simon Coveney is Kenny`s pick for Minister for Agriculture, Marine and Food.

Dublin Mid West TD Frances Fitzgerald is the new Minister for Children.

James Reilly, one of the key figures in Fine Gael`s success at the polls is the new Minister for Health.

Leo Varadkar, who openly supported Bruton has taken on the ministry for Transport,Tourism and Sport.

Labour`s Willie Penrose has assuemd the position of Junior Minister with responsibility for housing and planning.

Advertisements
Advertisements