553. Deputy Lucinda Creighton asked the Minister for Defence if the Defence Forces deployment with the EU Training Mission in Somalia is to continue in 2014 and beyond; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 49089/13 asked on 19 Nov 2013 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): I propose to take Questions Nos. 553 and 558 together.
EUTM Somalia, which was launched on 7 April 2010, aims to strengthen the Somali National Government as a functioning government and to empower the institutions to serve the Somali citizens, by providing military training to members of the Somali National Armed Forces. The mission is part of the EU’s long term strategy for the Horn of Africa. EUTM Somalia has contributed to the training of approxi...

558. Deputy Lucinda Creighton asked the Minister for Defence the way deployment to the Somalia EU Training Mission for Irish Defence Forces is determined; the level of interdepartmental consultation with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on such decisions; the reason the total number of Defence Forces deployed in Somalia fell between June 2013 and November 2013 from 11 to eight; if this was a strategic redeployment of Defence Force members to other jurisdictions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 49041/13 asked on 19 Nov 2013 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): I propose to take Questions Nos. 553 and 558 together.
EUTM Somalia, which was launched on 7 April 2010, aims to strengthen the Somali National Government as a functioning government and to empower the institutions to serve the Somali citizens, by providing military training to members of the Somali National Armed Forces. The mission is part of the EU’s long term strategy for the Horn of Africa. EUTM Somalia has contributed to the training of approxi...

4. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Defence if he will provide an update on the participation of the Defence Forces in the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 46965/13 asked on 06 Nov 2013 - Overseas Missions)

Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl: Last July, Fianna Fáil was happy to support the deployment of a contingent of Irish Defence Forces personnel to the Golan Heights in Syria, but that was done against the background of international concern and in a situation where the Austrian, Croatian and Japanese authorities had withdrawn their troops. What we seek today is an assurance of the continued safety of personnel serving in that location.
 ...

17. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Defence if he will provide an update on the Defence Forces mission to the Golan Heights; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 46839/13 asked on 06 Nov 2013 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): I propose to take Questions Nos. 17, 23 and 29 together.
I addressed the question of Defence Forces participation in the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) on the Golan Heights in Syria, in answering the priority PQ earlier. 
The Irish 43rd Infantry Company currently serving with UNDOF deployed to the mission area on 28 September 2013 and achieved full operational capability on 02 October 2013. Their role includes the provision of a Qu...

22. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Defence if he will confirm the number of Defence Forces personnel who may be sent to conflict zones abroad with the approval of only part of the three elements of the triple lock mechanism, Government approval, Dáil approval and a UN Security Council mandate; if he will provide the numbers of such personnel who are currently working overseas; the numbers in each year from 2000 to date in 2013; the destinations of these personnel in each case; the financial cost of committing these personnel overseas in each case; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 46791/13 asked on 06 Nov 2013 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): The statutory authority for the despatch of contingents of the Permanent Defence Force for service overseas as part of an International Force, is set out in Section 2 of the Defence (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 1960, as amended by the Defence (Amendment) Act 2006. This provision is commonly referred to as the “triple lock” and comprises three requirements namely: 
- the authorisation of the operation by the Security Council or General Assembly of the Unite...

23. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn asked the Minister for Defence if he will provide an update on the deployment of troops to Syria; and his plans to deploy any further troops to Syria. (Question 46631/13 asked on 06 Nov 2013 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): I propose to take Questions Nos. 17, 23 and 29 together.
I addressed the question of Defence Forces participation in the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) on the Golan Heights in Syria, in answering the priority PQ earlier. 
The Irish 43rd Infantry Company currently serving with UNDOF deployed to the mission area on 28 September 2013 and achieved full operational capability on 02 October 2013. Their role includes the provision of a Qu...

24. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence the full extent of the deployment of Irish troops overseas; if further requests in this regard are pending; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 46637/13 asked on 06 Nov 2013 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): As of 1 November 2013, Ireland is contributing approximately 560 Defence Forces personnel to 14 different missions throughout the world. Full details of all personnel currently serving overseas are listed in the tabular statement below. The main overseas missions in which Defence Forces personnel are currently deployed are the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) with 356 personnel, including the Deputy Force Commander. The joint Irish/F...

29. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Defence if he will report to the Dáil on the deployment of the 43rd infantry group of the Irish Defence Forces in the Golan Heights in Syria; the missions the Irish Defence Forces have been involved in to date in Syria; and the date on which it is expected that those members of the Defence Forces will return home. (Question 46640/13 asked on 06 Nov 2013 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): I propose to take Questions Nos. 17, 23 and 29 together.
I addressed the question of Defence Forces participation in the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) on the Golan Heights in Syria, in answering the priority PQ earlier. 
The Irish 43rd Infantry Company currently serving with UNDOF deployed to the mission area on 28 September 2013 and achieved full operational capability on 02 October 2013. Their role includes the provision of a Qu...

129. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence the strength and location of various Irish overseas troop deployments at present; the extent to which further deployments have been sought or are contemplated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 47392/13 asked on 06 Nov 2013 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): As of 01 November 2013, Ireland is contributing approximately 560 Defence Forces personnel to 14 different missions throughout the world. Full details of all personnel currently serving overseas are listed in the tabular statement attached. The main overseas missions in which Defence Forces personnel are currently deployed are the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) with 356 personnel, including the Deputy Force Commander. The joint Iri...

850. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the 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 46321/13 asked on 05 Nov 2013 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): As of 01 November 2013, Ireland is contributing approximately 560 Defence Forces personnel to 14 different missions throughout the world. Full details of all personnel currently serving overseas are listed in the tabular statement attached. The main overseas missions in which Defence Forces personnel are currently deployed are the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) with 356 personnel, including the Deputy Force Commander. The joint Ir...

519. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Defence the number of Defence Forces personnel currently stationed overseas; the number stationed in each of the various countries and the nature of the work or missions in which personnel are involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40453/13 asked on 01 Oct 2013 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): As of 30 September 2013, Ireland is contributing approximately 564 Defence Forces personnel to 14 different missions throughout the world. Full details of all personnel currently serving overseas are listed in the tabular statement attached. The main overseas missions in which Defence Forces personnel are currently deployed are the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) with 359 personnel, including the Deputy Force Commander. The joint Iris...

2. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn asked the Minister for Defence if he will provide an update on the possible ending of the triple lock mechanism prior to Irish Defence Forces participating in overseas missions. (Question 36427/13 asked on 18 Jul 2013 - Overseas Missions)

Deputy Paul Kehoe: The statutory authority for the despatch of contingents of the Permanent Defence Force for service overseas as part of an international force is set out in section 2 of the Defence (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 1960, as amended by the Defence (Amendment) Act 2006. This provision is commonly referred to as the “triple lock”. However, personnel may be deployed for training, for humanitarian operations and for other such reasons, under the authority of the Government in accordance wi...

6. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Defence the number of Defence Forces personnel presently engaged in overseas operations; and the net cost to the Exchequer of each of these operations. (Question 35791/13 asked on 18 Jul 2013 - Overseas Missions)

Deputy Paul Kehoe: As of 30 June 2013, Ireland is contributing approximately 449 Defence Forces personnel to 13 different missions throughout the world. Full details of all personnel currently serving overseas are listed in the tabular statement together with details of the latest available costings which are in respect of 2012.
The main overseas missions in which Defence Forces personnel are currently deployed are the UN Interim Force in Lebanon, UNIFIL, with 361 personnel, including the Deput...

8. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Defence if he will provide an update on the Defence Forces mission in Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35732/13 asked on 18 Jul 2013 - Overseas Missions)

Deputy Paul Kehoe: I propose to take Questions Nos. 8 and 21 together.
Ireland has participated in the NATO–led UN mandated mission in Afghanistan since 5 July 2002. On 25 June last, the Government agreed to continue to provide seven members of the Permanent Defence Force for service with the International Security Assistance Force for a further period from July 2013, subject to ongoing review by the Minister for Defence. On 20 December 2001, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolut...

21. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Defence further to Parliamentary Question No. 41 of 18 June 2013, if he will confirm if Irish Defence Forces personnel will return home in October 2013 when the current International Security Assistance Force mandate expires; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35792/13 asked on 18 Jul 2013 - Overseas Missions)

Deputy Paul Kehoe: I propose to take Questions Nos. 8 and 21 together.
Ireland has participated in the NATO–led UN mandated mission in Afghanistan since 5 July 2002. On 25 June last, the Government agreed to continue to provide seven members of the Permanent Defence Force for service with the International Security Assistance Force for a further period from July 2013, subject to ongoing review by the Minister for Defence. On 20 December 2001, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolut...

22. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Defence if he will report on the Irish troops currently participating in the EU Training Mission in Mali; if members of the Irish Defence Forces will participate in the UN peacekeeping force in Mali; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35793/13 asked on 18 Jul 2013 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): On 17 January 2013, the Council of the European Union established the EU Training Mission (EUTM Mali). The mission was formally launched by EU Foreign Affairs Council on 18 February 2013 and its initial mandate is to last for fifteen (15) months. The purpose of the mission is to provide military training and advice to the Malian Armed Forces in order to improve their capacity to maintain security in Mali and restore the authority of the Malian Governme...

225. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Defence his views on the triple lock system for Ireland’s Defence Forces taking part in large missions abroad; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 31466/13 asked on 17 Jul 2013 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): The statutory authority for the despatch of contingents of the Permanent Defence Force for service overseas as part of an International Force is set out in Section 2 of the Defence (Amendment)(No. 2) Act, 1960 as amended by the Defence (Amendment) Act, 2006. This provision is commonly referred to as the “triple lock”. However, personnel may be deployed for training, for humanitarian operations and for other such reasons under the authority of the Gov...

584. Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Minister for Defence if the Irish Defence Forces will be deployed to Mali from 1 July as per the United Nations Security Council resolution of 25 June 2013 regarding a UN peacekeeping force made up of 12,600 troops; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 31847/13 asked on 02 Jul 2013 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): On 25 April 2013, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2100 (2013) establishing a Peacekeeping Force in the West African nation of Mali. Acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Council established the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, known as MINUSMA, for an initial period of twelve (12) months. The new mission replaced the African-led International Support Mis...

156. Deputy Pat Deering asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if a request has been made to send Irish troops to Syria. (Question 30100/13 asked on 25 Jun 2013 - Overseas Missions)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): There are currently two United Nations peacekeeping missions which operate in Syria, the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) and the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO), the latter of which is headquartered in Jerusalem. 
At the beginning of June a decision was taken by the Austrian Government to withdraw its peacekeeping contingent from UNDOF. In response to this, the United Nations a...

157. Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if annual reports are still made and compiled by the Permanent Mission of Ireland to the United Nations in New York; the use and purpose of these reports and who they are accountable to in his Department in Dublin; if these UN reports by the delegation are made public and if they are laid before Dáil Éireann and the Houses of the Oireachtas, either on an annual basis or otherwise; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 30108/13 asked on 25 Jun 2013 - Overseas Missions)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): It is not the practice for my Department’s overseas missions to prepare annual reports. In common with other missions, the Permanent Mission of Ireland to the United Nations reports on a regular and ongoing basis on a range of issues to relevant Divisions of my Department. Overseas missions also prepare annual business plans in consultation with and under the oversight of Headquarters. These plans are reviewed by the ...

21. Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Defence if a decision has been made regarding the request from the UN to deploy observers to the UN Truce Supervision Organisation in the Middle East to the headquarters of the UNDOF in Syria. (Question 29109/13 asked on 18 Jun 2013 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): In April 2013 a request was received from the United Nations to deploy additional UN Military Observers to the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation in the Middle East to the Headquarters of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in Syria. This request is currently receiving consideration and a decision is expected shortly. In response to a separate request from the United Nations to deploy personnel to the headquarters of UN...

29. Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Minister for Defence the work that has been undertaken by the 108th infantry battalion of the Irish Defence Forces that are currently deployed in Lebanon serving with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon since their arrival; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 28710/13 asked on 18 Jun 2013 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) mission is the main overseas mission in which Defence Forces personnel are currently deployed. The 108th Infantry Battalion, comprising some 337 personnel, was deployed to UNIFIL in May 2013 when it replaced personnel of the 107th Infantry Battalion. The Irish Battalion has been working alongside a contingent of 170 personnel of the Finnish Armed Forces as part of a joint Irish/Finnish Battalion. A...

41. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Defence when Irish Defence Forces personnel will be withdrawn from Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 29124/13 asked on 18 Jun 2013 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): 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. On 9 October 2012, the UN Security Council extended ISAF’s mandate for a further year until October 2013. Ireland has participated in the NATO–led UN mandated mission in Afghanistan since 5 July 2002. The continued participation by seven (...

45. Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for Defence if he will list the delegations of Irish troops stationed abroad. (Question 29118/13 asked on 18 Jun 2013 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): As of 15 June 2013, Ireland is contributing approximately 445 Defence Forces personnel to 12 different missions throughout the world. Full details of all personnel currently serving overseas are listed in the tabular statement attached. The main overseas missions in which Defence Forces personnel are currently deployed are UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) with 361 personnel, including the Deputy Force Commander; the EU Training Mission (EUTM) Soma...

420. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence the extent to which he has had discussions or communication with EU or UN sources in the matter of further deployment of Irish troops overseas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 29317/13 asked on 18 Jun 2013 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): During each EU Presidency both formal and informal meetings of Defence Ministers are held. On 12-13 February 2013, I hosted an informal meeting of EU Ministers of Defence in Dublin Castle. The Operational Commanders of three of the four current EU-led missions were also in attendance. Discussions were focused on these current operations and future proposed developments. Ireland contributes Defence Forces personnel to three of the four current EU mil...