Taoiseach to visit members of Defence Forces deployed in Lebanon this weekend

Taoiseach to visit members of Defence Forces deployed in Lebanon this weekend

THE TAOISEACH Micheál Martin will travel to Lebanon on 28 and 29 May to visit members of the Defence Forces deployed with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) to mark the International day of United Nations Peacekeepers.

During his visit, he will meet with Head of Mission and Force Commander of UNIFIL, Major General Aroldo Lázaro Sáenz.

He is also expected to lay a wreath in memory of the 47 members of the Defence Forces who lost their lives while serving in Lebanon.

In advance of the visit, the Taoiseach said:

"Ireland has the distinction of being the only nation to have a continuous presence on UN-mandated peace support operations, since 1958. On this international day of United Nations peacekeepers, I am honoured to join Ireland’s peacekeepers serving with UNIFIL and to pay tribute to their dedication and bravery, and that of all uniformed and civilian personnel from around the world, who have served, or continue to serve, in UN peacekeeping missions."

His delegation will visit the Defence Forces stationed at UN Position 2-45, where he will see, first hand, the situation in Lebanon more widely, as well as the daily challenges and tasks undertaken at UNIFIL. The Taoiseach will also have the opportunity to observe the work of UNIFIL to secure the Blue Line.

The Minister for Defence, Simon Coveney, and Defence Forces Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Seán Clancy, will accompany the Taoiseach on his visit.