15. Deputy Tony McLoughlin asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his plans to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Defence Forces involvement in peacekeeping missions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20290/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Commemorative Events)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): This year marks significant anniversaries in relation to Ireland’s United Nations peacekeeping role. It will be the 60th anniversary of Ireland’s first participation in a United Nations peacekeeping mission and it is the 40th anniversary of our first deployment to Lebanon as part of the UNIFIL mission.
Commemorative events are being planned to mark this year’s important milestones in the history of Ireland’s participation in Un...

18. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his plans to mark the 40th anniversary of Ireland’s participation in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20424/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Commemorative Events)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): This year marks significant anniversaries in relation to Ireland’s UN peacekeeping role. It will be the 60th anniversary of Ireland’s first participation in a UN peacekeeping mission and it is the 40th anniversary of the first deployment of Defence Force personnel to Lebanon as part of the UNIFIL mission.
Ireland has made a huge commitment to supporting peace and security in the Middle East region and has participated in the UN...

2290. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if his department will provide funding for a commemoration event (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 28031/17 asked on 20 Jun 2017 - Commemorative Events)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The Department of Defence does not have a budget for commemorations. This is a matter for my colleague the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.
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372. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if he will give consideration to providing retired Defence Forces personnel with the 1916 centenary commemorative medal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18463/17 asked on 12 Apr 2017 - Commemorative Events)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): As part of the Programme for Government, it was proposed that a commemorative medal be awarded to all Defence Forces personnel, Permanent (PDF) and Reserve (RDF) , who were recorded as being in service during the course of 2016. The 1916 Centenary Commemorative Medal is being awarded as a commemorative medal, personal to an individual’s service in the Defence Forces in the course of 2016. It is the case that even if a member o...

1735. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the extent of supports offered to members of the Defence Forces on leaving or retiring from the Forces; the length of time any support is extended to the persons involved; the amount of money allocated annually to such supports; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 1848/17 asked on 17 Jan 2017 - Commemorative Events)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence Deputy Paul Kehoe: The Programme for a Partnership Government reaffirms my Department’s commitment to providing support to ex-service personnel for the public service and contribution they have made to the State.
Training is an important element of a person’s military career. While its primary focus is to develop and maintain military capabilities, personnel have the opportunity to enhance their learning, acquire skills and to acquire externally re...

1737. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if his Department will issue a special edition of the 1916 commemorative medal to all veterans and retired members of Óglaigh na hÉireann. (Question 1934/17 asked on 17 Jan 2017 - Commemorative Events)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence Deputy Paul Kehoe: As part of the Programme for Government, it was proposed that a commemorative medal be awarded to all Defence Forces personnel, Permanent and Reserve, who were recorded as being in service in the course of 2016. The 1916 Centenary Commemorative Medal is being awarded as a commemorative medal, personal to an individual’s service in the Defence Forces in the course of 2016.
The awarding of the 1916 Centenary Commemorative Medal is ...

721. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the reason the annual ceremony to honour deceased members of the Defence Forces which was due to take place at the national defence monument in Merrion Square on Sunday, 6 November 2016, was cancelled; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 34646/16 asked on 15 Nov 2016 - Commemorative Events)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The National Day of Commemoration is held annually by the State in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham. Annual commemorations are also held by the Defence Forces at the National Memorial in Merrion Square during the summer months. In addition commemorations are held in military barracks during November.
A commemoration to honour deceased members of the Defence Forces was conducted in November 2015 at the National Memorial in Merrion...

541. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence when men from A Company 35th Battalion (UN Service) of the Irish Army will be honoured and recognised for their bravery at the siege of Jadotville in September 1961; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 33851/16 asked on 08 Nov 2016 - Commemorative Events)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): To mark the occasion of the 55th anniversary of the Siege of Jadotville, I had my Department organise and host a ceremony in Custume Barracks, Athlone on Saturday 17 th September 2016 to mark the collective actions of the men of “A” Company, 35 th Infantry battalion and its attachments. A Unit Citation was presented to the Company in recognition of their collective heroism and professional performance during the Siege of Jadotv...

926. Deputy Joan Collins asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if he is aware that the Army presence at the national day of commemoration ceremony held in Sligo on 10 July 2016 was greatly reduced compared with previous years; if he is further aware that the Defence Forces did not provide a colour party of guard of honour for the Sligo ceremony and that three members of the Defence Forces from Sligo were killed in Lebanon while serving with the United Nations peacekeeping force, UNIFIL; if he will request the chief of staff of the Defence Forces to ensure an appropriate Army presence at the national day of commemoration ceremony in Sligo in the future; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 22022/16 asked on 19 Jul 2016 - Commemorative Events)

Taoiseach and Minister for Defence (Deputy Enda Kenny): The National Day of Commemoration commemorates all Irish people who died in past wars or United Nations peacekeeping missions. It occurs on the Sunday nearest 11 July. The principal ceremony is held at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin. Other ceremonies are held throughout the country and organised locally by the Local Authority.
The Defence Forces participation in the ceremony in Sligo consisted of 8 personnel including 2 Officers. ...

335. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Defence to outline his plans as part of the commemoration of the 1916 centenary to award medals to serving members of the Permanent Defence Force and the Reserve Defence Force; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6026/16 asked on 06 Apr 2016 - Commemorative Events)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): The State is undertaking a comprehensive programme of commemorations during 2016 which commenced on New Year’s Day in Dublin Castle. All elements of the Defence Forces will play a very central and important role in many of the historic events taking place during 2016. The question of issuing a medal to commemorate the centenary is being considered in the context of further initiatives that may be introduced as part of the 2016 Commemorations. At this ...

50. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Defence if relatives of 1916 veterans who did not accept a State pension are permitted for inclusion on the register to attend State centenary events; the procedure for inclusion on the register; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 4526/16 asked on 03 Feb 2016 - Commemorative Events)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): Whilst responsibility for the Decade of Centenaries Programme rests with my colleague the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, one of the tasks assigned to my Department is that of custodian of the Register of Relatives of those who participated in the 1916 Easter Rising. Relatives of participants involved in the Rising, who had not previously attended annual events to commemorate it, or expressed their interest in such events in previous ye...

255. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Defence if he has commissioned a commemorative medal to be made available to all present and past members of the Irish Defence Forces, in recognition of their loyal service to the State for the past 100 years given the upcoming 1916 centenary celebration; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 2723/16 asked on 26 Jan 2016 - Commemorative Events)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): The State is undertaking a comprehensive programme of commemorations during 2016 which commenced on New Year’s Day in Dublin Castle.  Further details of the commemorations being held this year are available at www.ireland.ie.  I am currently considering any further initiatives that may be introduced in this context.
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31. Deputy Seán Kyne asked the Minister for Defence the involvement of the Defence Forces in the Ireland 2016 commemorative programme; and if the personnel involved will be drawn on a regional basis. (Question 25115/15 asked on 25 Jun 2015 - Commemorative Events)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): While responsibility for the Decade of Centenaries Programme rests with my colleague the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, both my Department and the Defence Forces will play a significant role in many of the events planned for 2016. There are two existing 1916 commemoration events which have significant Department of Defence and Defence Forces involvement annually. These are the 1916 Commemoration ceremonies that takes place at the GPO e...

130. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Defence if he will provide an update on the role he expects the Defence Forces to play in the 1916 commemorations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 21284/15 asked on 09 Jun 2015 - Commemorative Events)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): While responsibility for the Decade of Centenaries Programme rests with my colleague the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, both my Department and the Defence Forces will play a significant role in many of the events planned for 2016. There are two existing 1916 commemoration events which have significant Department of Defence and Defence Forces involvement annually. These are the 1916 Commemoration ceremonies that take place at the GPO ...

6. Deputy Seán Kyne asked the Minister for Defence in recognition of the substantial number of Irish men and women who participated in the Great War, if the current Irish Defence Forces will be participating in commemorative events; if so, if he will outline such events particularly in the context of the forthcoming centenary of the war; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 25786/14 asked on 18 Jun 2014 - Commemorative Events)

Deputy Seán Kyne: This question relates to the Irish men who died in the Great War. Will the Irish Defence Forces be participating in commemorative events and, if so, will the Minister outline those events?
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329. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Defence the changes that have occurred to the invitee list for the State’s Easter commemoration; if the list of persons previously invited has changed in recent years; his views on the way that it will change in the future; and if the relatives of those involved in the 1916 Rising will continue to be invited to future ceremonies. (Question 19973/14 asked on 06 May 2014 - Commemorative Events)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): Invitations to the annual Easter Sunday 1916 Commemoration at the GPO are issued by the Department of Defence and, whilst the Department of the Taoiseach has overall oversight of this Commemoration, the Minister for Defence is the host for the event. This arrangement dates back to 2006 when a Military Parade was held to mark the 90th anniversary of the Rising. Details of the format of, and arrangements for, the commemoration ceremony to be held in 20...

471. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Defence his views on correspondence (details supplied) regarding the 1916 commemoration at Arbour Hill; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16126/14 asked on 08 Apr 2014 - Commemorative Events)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): The correspondence that the Deputy has enclosed raises a wide range of issues in relation to the annual 1916 Commemoration in Arbour Hill. A detailed response will issue to the Deputy and the correspondent as soon as possible.
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152. Deputy Patrick O’Donovan asked the Minister for Defence if there are plans for members of the Defence Forces to participate in upcoming events to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War at home and abroad; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 13468/14 asked on 25 Mar 2014 - Commemorative Events)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): The development of the commemorative programme for the centenary period, to include World War I, is being co-ordinated on behalf of the Government by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Mr. Jimmy Deenihan, T.D. I understand that these arrangements to mark the outbreak of the War are still under development.My Department and the Defence Forces are liaising closely with the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in supporting comm...

523. Deputy Patrick O’Donovan asked the Minister for Defence if following the commemorations which took place in July and August of this year, there are plans to extend the commemoration using the ceremonial military guard at the national memorial to Óglaigh na hÉireann into the future; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41011/13 asked on 01 Oct 2013 - Commemorative Events)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): As part of the Defence Forces contribution to “The Gathering Ireland 2013” initiative, a Ceremonial Military Guard parade was held at the site of the National Memorial to members of the Defence Forces in Archbishop Ryan Park, Merrion Square, Dublin on Saturdays during the months of July and August this summer. Units from the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service participated in the Military Guard Ceremony in solemn remembrance of their fallen comrades. I...

332. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Defence his views on the issues raised by a person (details supplied) in County Clare in correspondence to him dated 16 May 2012; if he will accept any of the suggestions made; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40127/12 asked on 25 Sep 2012 - Commemorative Events)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): There had been a suggestion for a commemorative medal to be issued to all serving members of the Defence Forces in 2013. However, having reviewed the matter, it has now been decided not to progress it further. While I welcome the suggestion in relation to a proposed “Old Soldiers Day”, it is not proposed to introduce a new military ceremonial event in the current economic climate. 
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