563. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the status of Ireland’s participation in UNDOF and the UN decision to reoccupy the area of separation; the strategic concerns that exist for Irish deployment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40582/16 asked on 16 Dec 2016 - 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. Since 1974, the mandate of UNDOF has been renewed every six months, most recently renewed in June 2016 until 31 December 2016 under UNSCR 2294 (2016). A contingent of the Permanent...

348. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the status of a review his Department is undertaking relating to the work and potential remuneration of the 11 special Irish peace monitors on secondment to the OSCE in eastern Ukraine; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39390/16 asked on 13 Dec 2016 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine performs vital work in extremely difficult circumstances, particularly in Eastern Ukraine. As I outlined in response to a Parliamentary Question No. 343 on 25 October 2016, there is currently no funding for supplementary payments by the Government to Irish monitors. However, my Department continues to keep the issue under review.
 ...

684. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his views on whether the continued presence of the Defence Forces in the Golan Heights as part of the UNDOF mission, could make Ireland complicit in a breach of international law by effectively facilitating the illegal occupation by Israel of Syrian land; his further views on whether the expertise and skills of the Defence Forces could be better used in DRC, Darfur or South Sudan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40064/16 asked on 13 Dec 2016 - 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 ...

686. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the current 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 any upgrading of equipment has been noted arising from such deployment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40145/16 asked on 13 Dec 2016 - Overseas Missions Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): As of 1 December 2016, Ireland is contributing 661 Defence Forces personnel to 11 different missions throughout the world, along with deployments to two standby Battlegroup Headquarters and 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 379 personnel. Since 22 Nove...

212. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the extent to which he expects Irish troop deployment overseas in respect of EU or UN missions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 34027/16 asked on 09 Nov 2016 - Overseas Missions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): As of 01 November 2016, Ireland is contributing 496 Defence Forces personnel to 11 different missions throughout the world, along with deployments to two standby Battlegroup Headquarters and 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 215 personnel, the United ...

343. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the status of the work of the 11 special Irish peace monitors on secondment to the OSCE in eastern Ukraine; if the monitors receive no pay or allowances from his Department for their work; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that Ireland is the only western European country that does not provide its monitors with such allowances or pay; if he will consider extending such payments to the monitors; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 31929/16 asked on 25 Oct 2016 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, which was established by decision of the Permanent Council of the OSCE on 21 March 2014, is composed of international staff from OSCE participating States and unarmed, civilian monitors, supported in their work by local staff from Ukraine. As of 12 October 2016, there were 693 international monitors in Ukraine, of whom 10 are Irish. 
Members of the Special Monitoring Mission are not...

26. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence further to Parliamentary Question No. 579 of 21 June 2016, if he will provide details on the criteria involved in periodic reviews by his Department of the deployment of Defence Forces personnel overseas and the way these reviews are carried out; if he will provide details on the recent announcement that a new contingent of Irish troops will be joining the UNDOF mission in the Golan Heights; if he is satisfied that this UN mission and the support for it are making a positive contribution to peace in the Middle East; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 27139/16 asked on 27 Sep 2016 - Overseas Missions)

Deputy Mick Wallace: My question is a basic one. What criteria are examined in the periodic reviews by the Department on the deployment of Defence Forces personnel overseas? How are the reviews carried out? Will the Minister of State provide details on the recent announcement that a new contingent of Irish troops will be joining the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force, UNDOF, mission to the Golan Heights? Is he satisfied with the mission and that it is making a positive contribution ...

45. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of members of the Defence Forces who will be deployed to the Golan Heights in the coming weeks, following the announcement on 19 September 2016 that a new contingent of troops would be joining the UNDOF mission in the near future; and his views on whether this deployment is a good use of Defence Forces capability. (Question 27098/16 asked on 27 Sep 2016 - Overseas Missions)

Deputy Mick Wallace: My question is a basic one. What criteria are examined in the periodic reviews by the Department on the deployment of Defence Forces personnel overseas? How are the reviews carried out? Will the Minister of State provide details on the recent announcement that a new contingent of Irish troops will be joining the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force, UNDOF, mission to the Golan Heights? Is he satisfied with the mission and that it is making a positive contribution ...

987. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the total strength of the Defence Forces currently serving overseas at all ranks; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 27441/16 asked on 27 Sep 2016 - Overseas Missions Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): As of 1 September 2016, Ireland is contributing 498 Defence Forces personnel to 11 different missions throughout the world, along with deployments to two standby Battlegroup Headquarters and 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 219 personnel, the United...

908. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of overseas missions in which the Defence Forces are currently involved; the number of personnel involved in each mission; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 23554/16 asked on 21 Jul 2016 - Overseas Missions Data)

Taoiseach and Minister for Defence (Deputy Enda Kenny): As of 19 July 2016, Ireland is contributing 493 Defence Forces personnel to 11 different missions throughout the world, along with deployments to two standby Battlegroup Headquarters and 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 214 personnel, the United Nations Disengag...

35. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of overseas missions on which Irish soldiers are serving; the number of these that only involve troops from European Union States or North Atlantic Treaty Organisation States; the number that involve soldiers from States that are neither in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation or the European Union; the names of these countries and the countries in which the missions are located; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16891/16 asked on 21 Jun 2016 - Overseas Missions Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe) (Deputy Paul Kehoe): As of 1 June 2016, Ireland is contributing 474 personnel to 11 different missions throughout the world. The main overseas missions, in which Defence Forces personnel are currently deployed, are: 
1. the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) with 199 personnel,
2. the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) with 136 personnel and
3. the Naval Service Humanitarian mission in the Medi...

575. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of operations the Defence Forces are involved in abroad; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17053/16 asked on 21 Jun 2016 - Overseas Missions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe) (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos 575, 589 and 596 together. 
As of 1 June 2016, Ireland is contributing 474 Defence Forces personnel to 11 overseas missions throughout the world. Full details of all personnel currently serving overseas are listed in the following tabular statement. 
The main overseas missions in which Defence Forces personnel are currently deployed are the United Nations Interim Force in Leb...

579. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if he had discussions regarding discontinuing the Irish participation in the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force mission in the Golan Heights; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17203/16 asked on 21 Jun 2016 - Overseas Missions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe) (Deputy Paul Kehoe): A contingent of the Permanent Defence Force has been deployed to the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) on the Golan Heights since 2013. The current Irish contingent, the 52nd Infantry Group, comprising 129 personnel, is based in UNDOF Headquarters in Camp Ziouani. It operates in the role of a Quick Reaction Force, which is on standby to assist with on-going operations within the UNDOF Area...

589. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence for a report on all overseas missions that the Defence Forces are currently participating in; the number of Defence Forces personnel currently participating in overseas missions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17298/16 asked on 21 Jun 2016 - Overseas Missions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe) (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos 575, 589 and 596 together. 
As of 1 June 2016, Ireland is contributing 474 Defence Forces personnel to 11 overseas missions throughout the world. Full details of all personnel currently serving overseas are listed in the following tabular statement. 
The main overseas missions in which Defence Forces personnel are currently deployed are the United Nations Interim Force in Leb...

594. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence to report on the recent appointment of a person (details supplied) as the head of mission and force commander of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, UNIFIL; the length and scope of this mission; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17303/16 asked on 21 Jun 2016 - Overseas Missions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): On 25 May 2016, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the appointment of Major General Michael Beary as the Head of Mission and Force Commander of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).  The appointment will be for an initial period of one year. Major General Beary succeeds Major General Luciano Portolano of Italy, who will complete his assignment in mid July 2016.
The Head of Mission/Force Com...

596. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the level of deployment and location of Irish troops overseas on United Nations or European Union related missions; the extent to which further missions are planned or required; the extent to which the need for any upgrading of equipment has been noted, arising from such deployment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17317/16 asked on 21 Jun 2016 - Overseas Missions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe) (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos 575, 589 and 596 together. 
As of 1 June 2016, Ireland is contributing 474 Defence Forces personnel to 11 overseas missions throughout the world. Full details of all personnel currently serving overseas are listed in the following tabular statement. 
The main overseas missions in which Defence Forces personnel are currently deployed are the United Nations Interim Force in Leb...

259. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Defence the number of overseas missions in which the Defence Forces are involved and the number of personnel involved in each mission; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7108/16 asked on 14 Apr 2016 - Overseas Missions Data)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): As of 08 April 2016, Ireland is contributing 416 Defence Forces personnel to 10 different missions throughout the world, along with deployments to two standby Battlegroup Headquarters and 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 196 personnel and the United Nations Disengagement O...

261. Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Defence when he will dispatch the L E Róisín to the Mediterranean to undertake search and rescue activities in respect of the refugee and humanitarian crises. (Question 7167/16 asked on 14 Apr 2016 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): Following a Government Decision on 12 May 2015, the Irish Naval Vessel, L.É. Eithne, was deployed to the Mediterranean on 16 May, 2015, to assist the Italian Authorities with the migrant crisis. Two further vessels were deployed, L.É. Niamh and L.É. Samuel Beckett, and the deployment was completed on 29 November 2015, with L.É. Samuel Beckett arriving back in Ireland on 17 December 2015. During that period 8,592 people were rescued in the Mediterrane...

49. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Defence if he will provide details of the humanitarian work of the Defence Forces in Tibnin in Lebanon; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 3907/16 asked on 03 Feb 2016 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): The Defence Forces have been involved in humanitarian activities overseas in conjunction with their participation in peace support missions for many years. In the years prior to the withdrawal of the Irish Battalion from UNIFIL in November 2001, that ‘reaching-out’ was done in numerous practical ways such as the support given to the orphanage at Tibnin, the Irish Battalion Medical Clinics run for the local people, the aiding of the elderly and the ann...

50. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Defence if he will review the deployment of Irish troops to the Golan Heights, given that Israel has indicated that it intends to claim oil found in the Golan Heights as its own, in contravention of international law, and the ongoing failure of the United National Disengagement Observer Force mission to achieve the goals laid out in United Nations Security Council Resolution 242. (Question 2951/16 asked on 26 Jan 2016 - Overseas Missions)

Deputy Clare Daly: I am disappointed to note that the Minister believes he will get his job back, because I had my eye on it. I also know Deputy Wallace is pretty hopeful of getting the justice portfolio - one never knows.
This is an important question, which asks the Minister to review the deployment of Defence Forces personnel to the Golan Heights. Given the failure of the United Nations Disengagement Observe Force, UNDOF, mission, which is more than 40 years old, and the virtual annexation ...

63. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Defence the details of his recent discussions with his European Union counterparts in relation to the possibility of increased numbers of Irish troops being sent to Mali. (Question 2797/16 asked on 26 Jan 2016 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): The Department of Defence constantly reviews the deployment of Defence Forces personnel overseas. With regard to any future deployments of Defence Forces personnel overseas, Ireland receives requests, from time to time, in relation to participation in various missions and these are considered on a case-by-case basis. 
As the Deputy is aware, I recently attended the meeting of Foreign Affairs and Defence Ministers, which took place in Brussels on 17t...

264. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence if Irish soldiers will be deployed overseas in 2016; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 3266/16 asked on 26 Jan 2016 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): As of 1 January 2016, Ireland is contributing 423 Defence Forces personnel to 11 different missions throughout the world. Full details of all personnel currently serving overseas are listed in the tabular statement beneath. The main overseas missions in which Defence Forces personnel are currently deployed are the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) with 197 personnel and the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in Syria w...

302. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Defence the number of overseas missions in which the Defence Forces are involved and the number of personnel involved in each mission. (Question 45819/15 asked on 17 Dec 2015 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): As of 1 December 2015, Ireland is contributing 493 Defence Forces personnel to 12 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 198 personnel, the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in Syria with 149 personnel, and the Naval Service humanitarian mission in the Mediterranean with 59 personnel. L....

489. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he has consulted with the Department of Defence regarding the implications of the deployment of Irish troops to Mali, given the potential impact of such a deployment at this time on the perception of Ireland’s neutrality abroad; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 45531/15 asked on 17 Dec 2015 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): On 16 November, in the wake of the horrific attacks in Paris, President Hollande stated that France was invoking Article 42.7 of the Treaty on European Union. The article states that “If a Member State is the victim of armed aggression on its territory, the other Member States shall have towards it an obligation of aid and assistance by all the means in their power, in accordance with Article 51 of the United Nations Charter. Th...

67. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Defence the merits of deploying members of the Irish Defence Forces in Mali, given the history of that country. (Question 41375/15 asked on 24 Nov 2015 - Overseas Missions)

Deputy Clare Daly: This question is obviously posed in the context of the French authorities invoking Article 42.7 of the Treaty on European Union, including the requirement to aid and assist in the event of an attack on another member state. There is speculation in the media that the Minister was considering allowing French troops currently located in Mali to be relieved of their duties and go elsewhere, and for their spaces to be filled by extra Irish Defence Forces personnel. I think that w...