9. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Defence the new United Nations missions he expects the Defence Forces to undertake in 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54765/12 asked on 12 Dec 2012 - Overseas Missions)

Deputy Alan Shatter: I propose to take Question Nos. 9, 15, 32 and 176 together. I am frightened to ask how much time that gives us as a consequence.
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15. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence the extent to which further deployment of Irish troops at various locations overseas is anticipated or has been requested; when he expects current deployments to end and or new assignments to commence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54796/12 asked on 12 Dec 2012 - Overseas Missions)

Deputy Alan Shatter: I propose to take Question Nos. 9, 15, 32 and 176 together. I am frightened to ask how much time that gives us as a consequence.
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20. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Defence if he will report on the Defence Forces’ mission in Syria; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54776/12 asked on 12 Dec 2012 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): Six (6) members of the Permanent Defence Force are deployed in Syria as part of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO). The Defence Forces have participated in UNTSO since 1958. Defence Forces personnel serving with this mission are based in Syria, Israel and Lebanon. The main functions of UNTSO are to maintain regional dialogue, monitor ceasefires, supervise armistice agreements and to assist UN peacekeeping operations in Lebanon a...

21. Deputy Michael Moynihan asked the Minister for Defence the date on which he proposes to withdraw the seven members of the Defence Forces serving in Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54774/12 asked on 12 Dec 2012 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): The Defence Forces are primarily deployed on overseas missions in support of international peace and security under UN mandates. On 20 December 2001, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1386 under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, authorising the establishment of an International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, and there are fourteen UN Security Council Resolutions relating to ISAF, most recently UN Security Council Res...

32. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Defence if the Defence Forces will participate in any new United Nations missions over the next year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54790/12 asked on 12 Dec 2012 - Overseas Missions)

Deputy Alan Shatter: I propose to take Question Nos. 9, 15, 32 and 176 together. I am frightened to ask how much time that gives us as a consequence.
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176. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence the total number of members of the Defence Forces that have served overseas over the years; the extent to which such service is planned for the future; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 55034/12 asked on 12 Dec 2012 - Overseas Missions)

Deputy Alan Shatter: I propose to take Question Nos. 9, 15, 32 and 176 together. I am frightened to ask how much time that gives us as a consequence.
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177. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence the extent to which the Exchequer has been reimbursed by the United Nations or other bodies for overseas peacekeeping missions authorised by the EU or UN to date; if any outstanding payments remain; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 55035/12 asked on 12 Dec 2012 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter)(Deputy Alan Shatter): The UN reimburses some personnel and Contingent Owned Equipment costs in respect of contributions of personnel to UN led operations. Rates of reimbursement, fixed in accordance with UN categories of equipment and personnel, are agreed in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Ireland and the UN for each mission. The only mission for which Ireland is currently entitled to reimbursement of some troop and equipment costs, is the ...

359. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Defence if he will report on the participation of members of the Defence Forces in the UN Mission to Syria; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 55681/12 asked on 11 Dec 2012 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): Six members of the Permanent Defence Force are deployed in Syria as part of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO). The Defence Forces have participated in UNTSO since 1958. Defence Forces personnel serving with this mission are based in Syria, Israel and Lebanon. The main functions of UNTSO are to maintain regional dialogue, monitor ceasefires, supervise armistice agreements and to assist UN peacekeeping operations in Lebanon and...

12. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Defence if he expects the Defence Forces to undertake any new United Nations missions in 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 48470/12 asked on 07 Nov 2012 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): I propose to take Questions Nos. 12, 32 and 168 together.
Ireland has offered, through the United Nations Stand-by Arrangements System (UNSAS), to provide up to 850 military personnel for overseas service at any one time. This demonstrates Ireland’s commitment to the cause of international peace. This is the maximum sustainable commitment that Ireland can make to overseas peacekeeping operations. with smaller contributions in Kosovo, Bosnia Herzegovin...

22. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Defence the timeframe he proposes to keep seven members of the Defence Forces in Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 48503/12 asked on 07 Nov 2012 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): The Defence Forces are primarily deployed on overseas missions in support of international peace and security under UN mandates. On 20 December 2001, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1386 under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, authorising the establishment of an International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. There are fourteen UN Security Council Resolutions relating to ISAF, most recently UN Security Council Resolu...

32. Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Defence the number of countries across the world in which members of the Defence Forces are serving; and the requests he may be considering in other countries and new missions. (Question 48466/12 asked on 07 Nov 2012 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): I propose to take Questions Nos. 12, 32 and 168 together.
Ireland has offered, through the United Nations Stand-by Arrangements System (UNSAS), to provide up to 850 military personnel for overseas service at any one time. This demonstrates Ireland’s commitment to the cause of international peace. This is the maximum sustainable commitment that Ireland can make to overseas peacekeeping operations. with smaller contributions in Kosovo, Bosnia Herzegovin...

33. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Defence the number of Irish Defence Forces personnel currently serving in Syria; the role of Irish Defence Forces personnel in this location; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 48467/12 asked on 07 Nov 2012 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): Five (5) members of the Permanent Defence Force are deployed in Syria as part of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO). The Defence Forces have participated in UNTSO since 1958. Defence Forces personnel serving with this mission are based in Syria, Israel and Lebanon. The 5 Defence Forces personnel based in Syria are part of Observer Group Golan (OGG) responsible for the Syrian side of the Golan Heights. Their duties include man...

168. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence the total number of military personnel serving overseas on various missions UN or otherwise in each of the past four years to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 49032/12 asked on 07 Nov 2012 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): I propose to take Questions Nos. 12, 32 and 168 together.
Ireland has offered, through the United Nations Stand-by Arrangements System (UNSAS), to provide up to 850 military personnel for overseas service at any one time. This demonstrates Ireland’s commitment to the cause of international peace. This is the maximum sustainable commitment that Ireland can make to overseas peacekeeping operations. with smaller contributions in Kosovo, Bosnia Herzegovin...

484. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Defence the cost of Irish Army participation in the war in Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44915/12 asked on 16 Oct 2012 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): The Defence Forces are primarily deployed on overseas missions in support of international peace and security under UN mandates. On 20 December 2001, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1386 under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, authorising the establishment of an International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, and there are fourteen UN Security Council Resolutions relating to ISAF, most recently UN Security Council Re...

158. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Defence the extent to which members of the Air Corps have participated in overseas missions; if he is committed to providing opportunities to members of the Air Corps to take part in overseas missions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43857/12 asked on 11 Oct 2012 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): In the context of the production of the first White Paper on Defence (2000), the issue of deploying the Air Corps assets on peace support operations was considered. It was decided at that time that, given the resources of the Air Corps and the demands on their services at home, that the Air Corps would not be deployed on overseas operations. However, that decision did not preclude individual members of the Air Corps being deployed on overseas peace s...

3. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Defence if he will provide an update on the Irish peace keeping mission in Lebanon and the number of personnel involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39667/12 asked on 20 Sep 2012 - Overseas Missions)

(Deputy Paul Kehoe): The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, UNIFIL, mission is the main overseas mission in which Defence Forces personnel are currently deployed with a total of 356 personnel. Brigadier General Patrick Phelan was appointed deputy force commander UNIFIL in April 2012.
The 106th infantry battalion, comprising some 332 personnel, deployed to UNIFIL in May 2012. The Irish battalion has been working alongside a contingent of 170 personnel of the Finnish armed forces as part o...

6. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Defence the progress of the 106th battalion’s mission with UNIFIL, in view of on-going violence in Syria; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39467/12 asked on 20 Sep 2012 - Overseas Missions)

(Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 6 and 30 together. 
I addressed most of the issues in regard to the role of our contingent in UNIFIL in answering a priority parliamentary question on the matter earlier.
In the area in which the Irish-Finnish battalion operates, the security situation remains calm but tense. The battalion implements force protection measures appropriate to the prevailing operational and security developments in the region. As Deputies will appreciate, the ...

16. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Defence the role that the Irish Defence Forces will play in future UN missions in Syria; if the Defence Forces are preparing for such a mission in view of the deteriorating situation there; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39455/12 asked on 20 Sep 2012 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): I propose to take Questions Nos. 16 and 31 together. 
In May 2012, six members of the Permanent Defence Force were deployed as unarmed military observers to the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria, UNSMIS, in response to a request from the United Nations. On 20 July 2012, the Security Council of the United Nations extended the mission for 30 days and said that any further extension could be possible only ‘in the event that the Secretary-General...

30. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Defence if there has been any impact on the current Irish peacekeeping mission in South Lebanon in view of the current crisis in neighbouring Syria; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39491/12 asked on 20 Sep 2012 - Overseas Missions)

(Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 6 and 30 together. 
I addressed most of the issues in regard to the role of our contingent in UNIFIL in answering a priority parliamentary question on the matter earlier.
In the area in which the Irish-Finnish battalion operates, the security situation remains calm but tense. The battalion implements force protection measures appropriate to the prevailing operational and security developments in the region. As Deputies will appreciate, the ...

31. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence the degree to which he has received requests for deployment of members of the Defence Forces overseas; the likely strength and location of such deployments; when they are likely to occur, whether on EU or UN sponsored duty; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39528/12 asked on 20 Sep 2012 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): I propose to take Questions Nos. 16 and 31 together. 
In May 2012, six members of the Permanent Defence Force were deployed as unarmed military observers to the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria, UNSMIS, in response to a request from the United Nations. On 20 July 2012, the Security Council of the United Nations extended the mission for 30 days and said that any further extension could be possible only ‘in the event that the Secretary-General...