9. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence to outline his views on whether the threat level against Irish troops serving on the UNIFIL mission in Lebanon has increased since a person (details supplied) attended a major Israeli military and state public propaganda event on 18 April 2018, an event that coincided with the anniversary of the 1996 Qana massacre (details supplied) and at a time when Israeli soldiers are regularly targeting and firing at Palestinian civilians and wounding or killing them. (Question 20215/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Overseas Missions)

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: I asked the Minister of State at a joint committee meeting recently whether he believed it was appropriate for Major General Michael Beary, who is the head of mission of the UN in Lebanon, to attend an Israeli celebration at Mount Herzl and whether that attendance had put the lives of Irish troops at risk.
 ...

21. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if he is satisfied that the public and the Houses of the Oireachtas were sufficiently informed in regard to overseas missions (details supplied) as to the make-up of the Defence Forces contingents serving on those missions in view of the fact that in cases in which motions pursuant to section 2 of the Defence (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 1960 were passed approving the despatch of Defence Forces members on overseas missions did not refer to Army Ranger Wing involvement. (Question 20412/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Overseas Missions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 21 and 42 together.
The Army Ranger Wing (ARW) are the Special Operations Forces of the Defence Forces.
Defence Forces personnel, including ARW personnel, are deployed to United Nations peacekeeping missions in accordance with the provisions of the Defence Acts.
The statutory authority for the despatch of contingents of the Permanent Defence Force for service overseas is set out in Section 2 of t...

38. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if he will report on his recent visit to UNIFIL, UNDOF and UNTSO; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20414/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Overseas Missions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): During the period 13 to 20 March 2017, I visited the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO) and also the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP). The visit afforded an opportunity to see at first hand the tremendous work done overseas by the Irish Defence Forces in the Middle East and also ...

42. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the role of the Army Ranger Wing that was stationed as part of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan on several occasions since 2006; the reason Dáil Éireann was not alerted to the fact that Irish special forces members were deployed there contrary to the neutrality of the State; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20217/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Overseas Missions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 21 and 42 together.
The Army Ranger Wing (ARW) are the Special Operations Forces of the Defence Forces.
Defence Forces personnel, including ARW personnel, are deployed to United Nations peacekeeping missions in accordance with the provisions of the Defence Acts.
The statutory authority for the despatch of contingents of the Permanent Defence Force for service overseas is set out in Section 2 of t...

94. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if the published number of Defence Forces members serving on overseas missions (details supplied) in each relevant year in which the missions were ongoing includes members of the Army Ranger Wing serving on those missions. (Question 17930/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Overseas Missions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 94 and 96 to 98, inclusive, together.
All published numbers of Defence Forces personnel serving overseas includes members of the Army Ranger Wing serving on those missions where relevant.
Personnel from the Army Ranger Wing (ARW) served in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan from October 2006 to March 2007 and from September 2014 to March 2015. They also participate...

96. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence further to Parliamentary Question No. 161 of 17 April 2018, the number of Defence Forces personnel who were in Afghanistan for the two full periods identified (details supplied); and if the number of Defence Forces personnel exceeded 12 during this period. (Question 18019/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Overseas Missions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 94 and 96 to 98, inclusive, together.
All published numbers of Defence Forces personnel serving overseas includes members of the Army Ranger Wing serving on those missions where relevant.
Personnel from the Army Ranger Wing (ARW) served in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan from October 2006 to March 2007 and from September 2014 to March 2015. They also participate...

97. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence further to Parliamentary Question No. 161 of 17 April 2018, the areas in which these persons were located with particular reference to if they were in Helmand province. (Question 18020/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Overseas Missions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 94 and 96 to 98, inclusive, together.
All published numbers of Defence Forces personnel serving overseas includes members of the Army Ranger Wing serving on those missions where relevant.
Personnel from the Army Ranger Wing (ARW) served in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan from October 2006 to March 2007 and from September 2014 to March 2015. They also participate...

98. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if Army Rangers are serving in Afghanistan or on other missions abroad at the present time about which Dáil Éireann has not been informed. (Question 18021/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Overseas Missions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 94 and 96 to 98, inclusive, together.
All published numbers of Defence Forces personnel serving overseas includes members of the Army Ranger Wing serving on those missions where relevant.
Personnel from the Army Ranger Wing (ARW) served in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan from October 2006 to March 2007 and from September 2014 to March 2015. They also participate...

161. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if members of the Army Ranger Wing have ever served in Afghanistan; the overseas missions in which members of the unit have served; and if these particular missions have been approved by Dáil Éireann under the triple lock system. (Question 16069/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Overseas Missions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The Army Ranger Wing (ARW) are the Special Operations Forces of the Defence Forces. Personnel from the ARW served in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), Afghanistan from October 2006 to March 2007 and from September 2014 to March 2015.  
Members of the ARW have also served in the following missions:
United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNISOM) in 1993; 
International Force East Timor (INTERFET) from October 1999 ...

27. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the level of deployment and location of Irish troops overseas on UN or EU related missions; the extent to which further missions are planned or required; the extent to which the need for upgrading of equipment has been noted arising from such deployment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 10722/18 asked on 06 Mar 2018 - Overseas Missions Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): As of 01 February 2018, Ireland is contributing 586 Defence Forces personnel to 9 different missions throughout the world and also to a range of international organisations and National representations.
The main overseas missions in which the Defence Forces personnel are currently deployed are the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) with 375 personnel and the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in Sy...

20. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his views on whether the Irish peacekeeping contingent serving with UNDOF should be withdrawn (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 3366/18 asked on 24 Jan 2018 - Overseas Missions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) was established on 31 May 1974 by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 350 (1974), following the agreed disengagement of the Israeli and Syrian forces in the Golan Heights in May 1974. 
UNDOF was established to:
- Maintain the ceasefire between Israel and Syria
- Supervise the disengagement of Israeli and Syrian forces; and
- Supervise the areas of separation and ...

59. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of members of the Defence Forces serving overseas in various locations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 3679/18 asked on 24 Jan 2018 - Overseas Missions Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): As of 1 January 2018, Ireland is contributing 589 Permanent Defence Force personnel to 9 different missions throughout the world. The main overseas missions in which Defence Forces personnel are currently deployed are the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) with 379 personnel, the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in Syria with 136 personnel. 
Ireland has, in addition, pledged to the United Nation...

65. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the status of Defence Forces activities as part of operation Sophia to date. (Question 52737/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Overseas Missions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The EU Common Security and Defence Policy naval operation EUNAVFOR MED (Operation Sophia), against human smugglers and traffickers, is one element of a comprehensive approach to addressing the migration crisis in the South Central Mediterranean. Operation Sophia was launched in June 2015 as part of the EU’s broader action to provide a comprehensive response to the global migration and refugee crisis and to encourage a democrati...

574. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of Defence Force members serving overseas on peacekeeping or other missions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53186/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Overseas Missions Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 574 and 577 together.
As of 1 December 2017, Ireland is contributing 639 Permanent Defence Force personnel to 9 different missions throughout the world. T he main overseas missions in which Defence Forces personnel are currently deployed are the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) with 377 personnel, the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in Syria with 136 personnel ...

577. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the extent to which he has received notification from the UN regarding the deployment of members of the Defence Forces overseas in the context of peacekeeping; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53189/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Overseas Missions Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 574 and 577 together.
As of 1 December 2017, Ireland is contributing 639 Permanent Defence Force personnel to 9 different missions throughout the world. T he main overseas missions in which Defence Forces personnel are currently deployed are the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) with 377 personnel, the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in Syria with 136 personnel ...

282. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of overseas appointments being filled by NCOs; the number of overseas appointments now filled by officers; when these appointments were made; and the location of each. (Question 52254/17 asked on 06 Dec 2017 - Overseas Missions Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): As of 01 December 2017, Ireland is contributing 639 Defence Forces personnel to 9 different missions throughout the world. These include, 141 commissioned officers, 249 non-commissioned officers and 249 are drawn from other ranks. The main overseas missions in which Defence Forces personnel are currently deployed are the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) with 377 personnel and the United Nations Disengagement ...

214. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the level of deployment and location of Irish troops overseas on UN or EU related missions; the extent to which further missions are planned or required; the extent to which the need for the upgrading of equipment has been noted arising from such deployment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44247/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Overseas Missions Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): As of 17 October 2017, Ireland is contributing 633 Defence Forces personnel to 10 different missions throughout the world and also to a range of international organisations and National representations. The main overseas mission in which Defence Forces personnel are currently deployed is the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) with 369 personnel and 136 personnel to the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (...

293. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the strength of the Defence Forces currently serving overseas at all ranks; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 23437/17 asked on 17 May 2017 - Overseas Missions Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): As of 04 May 2017, Ireland is contributing 575 Defence Forces personnel to 9 different missions throughout the world and also to a range of international organisations and National representations. 
The main overseas missions in which Defence Forces personnel are currently deployed are the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) with 369 personnel and the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in Syria wi...

7. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the detail of the imminent deployment of a further contingent of Irish troops to the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force, UNDOF, mission in the Golan Heights in view of the recent statement by the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, that he has asked the US President to recognise Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights and the concern that the UNDOF mission is effectively facilitating the illegal occupation of the Golan Heights by Israel; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15264/17 asked on 29 Mar 2017 - Overseas Missions)

Deputy Clare Daly: I have raised this issue previously with the Minister. It concerns the imminent deployment of a further contingent of Irish troops to the Golan Heights. As the Minister is aware, Israel, in violation of international law, has established an Israeli administration using Israeli as the official administrative language. It has enforced the implementation of Israeli curricula in schools and has enacted a slew of other measures aimed at permanently annexing that region. It is r...

10. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of members of the Defence Forces who are currently serving overseas; the missions they are on; if he expects that number to rise or fall in 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15525/17 asked on 29 Mar 2017 - Overseas Missions Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): As of 01 March 2017, Ireland is contributing 585 Defence Forces personnel to 9 different missions throughout the world and also to a range of international organisations and National representations.
The main overseas missions in which Defence Forces personnel are currently deployed are the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) with 378 personnel and the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in Syria wit...

16. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his views on whether the current UNDOF mission, in the context of the deployment of Irish troops to the Golan Heights, has now moved away from the original task of the 1974 mandate. (Question 15482/17 asked on 29 Mar 2017 - Overseas Missions)

Deputy Clare Daly: I have raised this issue previously with the Minister. It concerns the imminent deployment of a further contingent of Irish troops to the Golan Heights. As the Minister is aware, Israel, in violation of international law, has established an Israeli administration using Israeli as the official administrative language. It has enforced the implementation of Israeli curricula in schools and has enacted a slew of other measures aimed at permanently annexing that region. It is r...

217. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the extent to which he has had discussions at EU and UN level with regard to future deployment of the Defence Forces overseas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15707/17 asked on 29 Mar 2017 - Overseas Missions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe) (Deputy Paul Kehoe): As of 01 March 2017, Ireland is contributing 585 Defence Forces personnel to 9 different missions throughout the world and also to a range of international organisations and National Representations. The main overseas missions in which Defence Forces personnel are currently deployed are the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) with 378 personnel and the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force...

55. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his views on the presence of Defence Forces personnel on the Golan Heights in essence protecting illegal Israeli occupation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7339/17 asked on 15 Feb 2017 - Overseas Missions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) was established on 31 May 1974 by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 350 (1974), following the agreed disengagement of the Israeli and Syrian forces in the Golan Heights in May 1974.
UNDOF was established to:
- Maintain the ceasefire between Israel and Syria;
- Supervise the disengagement of Israeli and Syrian forces; and
- Supervise the areas of separation and ...

1715. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if he will make available the findings of the military investigation into the siege of Jadotville, which left the men of A Company 35th Infantry Battalion to fend for themselves without support; the number of soldiers interviewed as part of that investigation; the reasons A Company were detailed in Jadotville with only a verbal order while that week B Company and a Swedish company were pulled from their position in Jadotville; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41685/16 asked on 17 Jan 2017 - Overseas Missions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence Deputy Paul Kehoe: I propose to take Questions Nos. 1715 and 1716 together.
I was delighted to be able to formally recognise the collective bravery and actions of the men of A Company, 35th Infantry Battalion at a ceremony in Custume Barracks, Athlone on Saturday 17 September 2016. During this ceremony, I presented a Unit Citation to the Company in recognition of their collective bravery and professional performance during the Siege of Jadotville w...

1716. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if he will release the radio recordings made to and from the A Company 35th Infantry Battalion during the siege of Jadotville; the reason their calls for back up support during the ambush were not met; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41686/16 asked on 17 Jan 2017 - Overseas Missions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence Deputy Paul Kehoe: I propose to take Questions Nos. 1715 and 1716 together.
I was delighted to be able to formally recognise the collective bravery and actions of the men of A Company, 35th Infantry Battalion at a ceremony in Custume Barracks, Athlone on Saturday 17 September 2016. During this ceremony, I presented a Unit Citation to the Company in recognition of their collective bravery and professional performance during the Siege of Jadotville w...