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...

97. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his plans to mark the 40th anniversary of Irish troops being deployed to Lebanon; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19658/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Defence Forces)

Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach (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 ...

30. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Defence if he will report on his recent meeting with the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 25112/15 asked on 25 Jun 2015 - Ministerial Meetings)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): I welcomed the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon to the Defence Forces Training Centre, Curragh Camp, Co Kildare on 25th May 2015, the second day of his visit to Ireland. Our meeting provided an opportunity to restate Ireland’s continued commitment to the pursuit of international peace and security. Ireland is extremely proud of its long tradition of participating in UN and UN mandated peacekeeping missions with this year marking the 60th ...

323. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his plans to commemorate 60th anniversary of Ireland’s membership of the United Nations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 33972/15 asked on 22 Oct 2015 - Commemorative Events)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): December 14th 2015 marks the 60th anniversary of Ireland’s membership of the United Nations. Our engagement with the United Nations has been, and continues to be, central to our foreign policy, and it was a privilege for Ireland to play such a central role in the final negotiations on the Sustainable Development Goals in this, our anniversary year.
In May of this year, my Department launched a programme of events to commemorate si...

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 ...

95. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Defence to outline his views regarding the operation of Defence Forces overseas missions in the context of being involved in missions that have run for decades and failed to deliver peace and have in fact enabled the conflict participants to avoid making peace; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43331/14 asked on 13 Nov 2014 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): Participation in overseas peacekeeping missions is a key element of Ireland’s foreign policy and has been an important dimension in meeting Ireland’s international obligations as a member of the UN and the EU. Irish foreign policy is directed at supporting co-operative arrangements for collective security through the development of international organisations, especially the United Nations, and supporting effective international action in areas such a...

14. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Defence in view of the human suffering and human rights abuses taking place in Darfur and in Congo DRC, if this is an area where Irish troops could make a real difference in terms of peace-keeping missions. (Question 1206/15 asked on 14 Jan 2015 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): The Defence Forces have a long association with peacekeeping missions in Africa. The work carried out by Irish personnel deployed with such missions represents an important contribution to the peace and security of the region. Ireland is currently contributing four personnel to the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO). Ireland has participated in MONUSCO since its establishment in 2010. Prior to th...

166. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his plans to participate with other European countries engaged in peace keeping and or peace enforcement throughout the EU and other countries; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 13115/18 asked on 21 Mar 2018 - Defence Forces Deployment)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): As of 1 March 2018, Ireland is contributing 586 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 377 personnel and the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in Syria with 135 personnel. 
Other missions in which Defence Forces personnel are currently deployed are t...

64. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence the degree to which the Defence Forces will play a role in the 1916 commemorations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 2805/16 asked on 26 Jan 2016 - Easter Rising Commemorations)

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, both my Department and the Defence Forces are nevertheless playing a significant role in many of the events planned for 2016. 
My Department is currently working very closely with the Ireland 2016 Project Office in the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and with officials in the Department of the Taoi...

41. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of ceremonial public events that the Defence Forces have participated in alongside members of other military forces, excluding those events associated with our peacekeeping obligations, to date in 2017; the locations where these events took place; the military forces involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43812/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Defence Forces Ceremonies)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The Defence Forces have provided ceremonial support alongside members of other military forces in a number of ceremonial public events both here and abroad to date in 2017.
The level of participation is determined by my Department in consultation with the Military authorities and is dependent on the scale of the event in question and the availability of Military resources.
On 30 March 2017 in Ballyhaunis, the Defence Forces part...

15. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence the extent to which it is intended to participate with other European countries engaged in peacekeeping-peace enforcement throughout the EU and-or environs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43236/14 asked on 13 Nov 2014 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): As of 1 st November 2014, Ireland is contributing 418 Defence Forces personnel to 11 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 191 personnel, the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) with 138 personnel, the NATO-led International Security presence (KFOR) in Kosovo with 12 personnel, EU-led o...

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...

540. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Defence the number of occasions that Oglaigh na hÉireann took part in commemoration ceremonies and other ceremonial events with other armies in the last year; the occasions and armies involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 34504/14 asked on 17 Sep 2014 - Defence Forces Ceremonies)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 540 and 541 together.
The Defence Forces participated in a number of commemorative ceremonies both here and abroad in the last year. The level of participation is determined by my Department in consultation with the Military authorities and is dependent on the scale of the event in question and the availability of Military resources. The following are State commemorations where the Defence Forces provide significant ...

541. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Defence the criteria used for the participation of Oglaigh na hÉireann in commemoration ceremonies here and abroad; the details of the decision making process in relation to these matters; if he was consulted on such participation; the occasions that Oglaigh na hÉireann participated in such ceremonies in the last year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 34505/14 asked on 17 Sep 2014 - Defence Forces Ceremonies)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 540 and 541 together.
The Defence Forces participated in a number of commemorative ceremonies both here and abroad in the last year. The level of participation is determined by my Department in consultation with the Military authorities and is dependent on the scale of the event in question and the availability of Military resources. The following are State commemorations where the Defence Forces provide significant ...

891. Deputy Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will report on his meeting with the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, on 24 May 2015. (Question 21263/15 asked on 09 Jun 2015 - Ministerial Meetings)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, visited Ireland from 24 to 26 May last. This was the first official visit by the UN Secretary General since 2009 and it coincided with the launch of a programme of events to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Ireland’s membership of the UN. The visit provided an opportunity to showcase our unique contribution to the UN over the past 60 years. After receiving the Tipperary Inte...

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. ...

381. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence the extent to which he expects members of the Defence Forces to be deployed overseas in the coming years; the scale of any such proposals; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 1558/15 asked on 14 Jan 2015 - Defence Forces Deployment)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): As of 1 January 2015, Ireland is contributing 426 Defence Forces personnel to 11 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 199 personnel, the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) with 138 personnel, the NATO-led International Security presence (KFOR) in Kosovo with 12 personnel, the EU-led op...

78. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence the extent to which the Defence Forces are given opportunities to upgrade their skills in line with military forces throughout Europe and globally, with particular reference to the need to combat international terrorism; if all possible steps continue to be taken in respect of training, access to state-of-the-art technology, rapid deployment, and mobility; if he remains satisfied that the Defence Forces here are adequately equipped to interact and interface with military forces elsewhere; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41160/15 asked on 24 Nov 2015 - Defence Forces Operations)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): The Department of Justice and Equality and An Garda Síochána have primary responsibility for the internal security of the State and in the event of a terrorist incident, An Garda Síochána would be the first responders. An Garda Síochána may request assistance from the Defence Forces in the context of Aid to the Civil Power (ATCP). Significant and continuous effort is put into ensuring that the Defence Forces remain up-to-date with regard to best nat...

150. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will report on the commemorations for the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement in Dublin, Belfast, London and the United States of America. (Question 14146/18 asked on 27 Mar 2018 - Good Friday Agreement)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): A programme of events is underway, at home and abroad, to highlight this important anniversary and to mark the achievement of the Agreement, which continues to be the cornerstone of our commitment to peace and reconciliation.
My Department continues to engage with other Government Departments and, both here on the island of Ireland and through our overseas Embassy network, with a range of individuals, groups and institut...

1323. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the progress that has been made in developing the role of women in peacekeeping functions, as has been highlighted by the Secretary General of the UN and identified under UNSCR 1325; and the status of the engagement with other stakeholders, such as the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Department of Justice and Equality and An Garda Síochána, to explore the contribution of gender-focused measures, particularly regarding the appropriate deployment of female personnel. (Question 12819/17 asked on 21 Mar 2017 - Defence Forces Personnel)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): In May 2015, during a visit to Ireland, the Secretary General of the United Nations Mr. Ban Ki-moon, observed the value in some situations of being able to call upon female peacekeepers having regard to the multifaceted nature of peacekeeping challenges. He requested that consideration be given to the contribution of women soldiers to UN operations and that Ireland might factor this into its approach to such operations. The 201...

103. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Defence if, in discussions with the United Nations, he will consider proposing that Irish troops be sent to the Democratic Republic of Congo, where they could play a very positive role; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7073/15 asked on 18 Feb 2015 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): As of 1st February 2015, Ireland is contributing 432 Defence Forces personnel to 11 different missions throughout the world. Four Defence personnel are serving with the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO). Ireland has participated in this mission since its establishment in 2010. Prior to that, from 2001 to 2010, Defence Forces personnel served with the United Nations Organisation Mission in the Demo...

28. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence the extent of further requests from the United Nations for the deployment of Irish troops on peacekeeping expeditions; the extent to which such deployment will arise in future years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6871/15 asked on 18 Feb 2015 - UN Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): As of 1st February 2015, Ireland is contributing 432 Defence Forces personnel to 11 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 199 personnel, the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) with 138 personnel, the NATO-led International Security presence (KFOR) in Kosovo with 12 personnel, the EU-l...

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...

21. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Defence if he will provide details on the involvement of Irish Defence Forces personnel in ongoing overseas missions; their role and effectiveness in achieving peace; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41253/14 asked on 13 Nov 2014 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): As of 1 November 2014, Ireland is contributing approximately 418 Defence Forces personnel to 11 missions throughout the world. Full details of all personnel currently serving overseas are listed in the following tabular statement. United Nations peacekeeping operations are deployed on the basis of mandates from the United Nations Security Council. Their roles differ from situation to situation, depending on the nature of the conflict and the specific...

116. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence if he continues to be satisfied regarding the adequacy of numbers, equipment and support available to the Defence Forces serving on the Golan Heights and other central locations on peacekeeping missions with a view to ensuring that all such deployments are adequately equipped to meet most eventualities with particular reference to their own sustainability in such situations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35058/14 asked on 18 Sep 2014 - Defence Forces Equipment)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 116, 117 and 120 together.
The White Paper on Defence, published in February 2000, commits the Government to sustaining the overall level of Ireland’s contribution to peacekeeping, while developing a more selective approach to future requests from the United Nations having regard to the number, size, nature and complexity of its current peacekeeping operations.
Requests from the UN for Irish participation in new missio...

65. 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 20732/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Defence Forces Deployment)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): As of 01 May 2018, Ireland is contributing 637 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 369 personnel and the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in Syria with 138 personnel. 
Other missions in which Defence Forces personnel are currently deployed are the...

126. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence the extent to which members of the Defence Forces from the Army, Navy and Air Corps are deployed overseas at present; if any further or new deployments are forthcoming; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 26334/14 asked on 18 Jun 2014 - Defence Forces Operations)

Minister for Defence (Alan Shatter): As of 01 June 2014, Ireland is contributing approximately 417 Defence Forces personnel to 13 different missions throughout the world. Full details of all personnel currently serving overseas are listed in the tabular statement attached. Ireland’s main deployments are the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) with 199 personnel and United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in Syria with 135 personnel. Other missions in which Defence F...

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...

697. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the extent to which he is confident that facilities such as advanced training, state-of-the-art technology and any specific military equipment is available throughout the Defence Forces with a view to ensuring a competence to deal with national or international security incidents; if he is satisfied that the Defence Forces have adequate liaison with other defence forces throughout Europe in the context of any potential threat to national security; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40156/16 asked on 13 Dec 2016 - Defence Forces Equipment)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The Department of Justice and Equality and An Garda Síochána have primary responsibility for the internal security of the State and in the event of a national security incident, An Garda Síochána would be the first responders. An Garda Síochána may request assistance from the Defence Forces in the context of Aid to the Civil Power (ATCP). Significant and continuous effort is put into ensuring that the Defence Forces remain up-...

117. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence the extent to which he remains in contact with the UN authorities with a view to ensuring that adequate resources are available to members of the Defence Forces serving at various locations abroad with particular reference to their ability to meet ongoing threats; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35059/14 asked on 18 Sep 2014 - Defence Forces Equipment)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 116, 117 and 120 together.
The White Paper on Defence, published in February 2000, commits the Government to sustaining the overall level of Ireland’s contribution to peacekeeping, while developing a more selective approach to future requests from the United Nations having regard to the number, size, nature and complexity of its current peacekeeping operations.
Requests from the UN for Irish participation in new missio...

120. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence the extent to which adequate back up remains available to all members of the Defence Forces serving abroad in various locations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35062/14 asked on 18 Sep 2014 - Defence Forces Equipment)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 116, 117 and 120 together.
The White Paper on Defence, published in February 2000, commits the Government to sustaining the overall level of Ireland’s contribution to peacekeeping, while developing a more selective approach to future requests from the United Nations having regard to the number, size, nature and complexity of its current peacekeeping operations.
Requests from the UN for Irish participation in new missio...

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...

211. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Defence further to Parliamentary Question No. 3 of 14 March 2013, if he will explain further rbust Chapter V11 missions/operations in relation to Irish troops serving abroad. (Question 18204/13 asked on 18 Apr 2013 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): UN peacekeeping operations are deployed on the basis of mandates from the United Nations Security Council. Over the years, the range of tasks assigned to UN peacekeeping operations has expanded significantly in response to shifting patterns of conflict and to best address threats to international peace and security. 
Members of the Permanent Defence Force serve on missions under Chapter VI and Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter. 
Peacekeeping op...

1344. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if he will provide a service medal for members of the Defence Forces that were involved at Jadotville; if members of the Defence Forces will be acknowledged with a service medal for their tour of duty in the Congo; if retired members of the Defence Forces will be presented with the commemorative medal for 1916; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 13842/17 asked on 21 Mar 2017 - Defence Forces Veterans)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The issue of the award of medals to the men of “A” Company, 35th Infantry Battalion was comprehensively addressed in 1965. A properly constituted Medals Board considered the various cases presented and made a decision that no medals would be awarded. The Chief of Staff of the day considered the decision of the Board and was satisfied with the findings. Subsequently, the question was raised again in a letter to a newly appoint...

733. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if the first and second infantry group that completed overseas service in the Democratic Republic of Congo will be awarded medals for their service; and if Defence Forces members that served in Cyprus will be acknowledged. (Question 49887/17 asked on 28 Nov 2017 - Commemorative Medals)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): In general terms, medals are currently awarded to members of the Defence Forces on the basis of various criteria such as their length of service, for service overseas and for acts of bravery associated with such service both at home and overseas. Members who serve overseas on UN missions or UN mandated missions, subject to certain criteria, are currently eligible for the award of An Bonn Chosantóirí Síochána na Náisiún Aontaith...

88. Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Defence for further details on his announcement that all-female Defence Forces units will be created and embedded in United Nations peacekeeping operations, where gender-based violence has occurred. (Question 41166/15 asked on 24 Nov 2015 - White Paper on Defence)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney) (Deputy Simon Coveney): In May 2015, during a visit to Ireland, the Secretary General of the United Nations Mr. Ban Ki-moon, observed the value in some situations of being able to call upon female peacekeepers having regard to the multifaceted nature of peacekeeping challenges. He requested that consideration be given to the contribution of women soldiers to UN operations and that Ireland might factor this into its approach to such operations. The re...

89. Deputy Michael Moynihan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will report on the involvement of his Department’s officials in planning the commemorations for the twentieth anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement; and if an all party group is being established to discuss same. (Question 9651/18 asked on 28 Mar 2018 - Good Friday Agreement)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): A programme of events is underway, at home and abroad, to highlight this important anniversary and to mark the achievement of the Agreement, which continues to be the cornerstone of our commitment to peace and reconciliation. My Department continues to engage with other Government Departments and, both here on the island of Ireland and through our overseas Embassy network, with a range of individuals, groups and institut...

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...

1139. Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Minister for Defence the details of the recent appointment by the United Nations Secretary General of a member of the Irish Defence Forces to lead the UN Truce Supervision Organization; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 37405/13 asked on 18 Sep 2013 - Defence Forces Personnel)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter) (Deputy Alan Shatter): The United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) was established in May 1948 by UN Security Council resolution 50 (1948) to assist the United Nations Mediator and the Truce Commission in supervising the observance of the truce in Palestine. Since then, UNTSO has performed various tasks entrusted to it by the Security Council, including the supervision of the General Armistice Agreements of 1949 between Israel and its A...

149. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence the position regarding further likely requests for overseas deployment of the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6483/13 asked on 07 Feb 2013 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): I propose to take Questions Nos. 149 and 159 together. 
Ireland has offered, through the United Nations Standby 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 continues to be the maximum sustainable commitment that Ireland can make to overseas peacekeeping operations. 
Ireland is currently contributing 437 Defence...

159. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence the position regarding further likely requests for overseas deployment of the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6547/13 asked on 07 Feb 2013 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): I propose to take Questions Nos. 149 and 159 together. 
Ireland has offered, through the United Nations Standby 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 continues to be the maximum sustainable commitment that Ireland can make to overseas peacekeeping operations. 
Ireland is currently contributing 437 Defence...

517. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence the extent to which the services of the army, navy and air corps continue to be called on to assist on international peace-keeping and-or rescue missions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 22398/15 asked on 09 Jun 2015 - Defence Forces Deployment)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): As of 01 June 2015, Ireland is contributing approximately 497 Defence Forces personnel to 13 missions throughout the world. Full details of all personnel currently serving overseas including the lead organisation for each mission are listed in the tabular statement attached. 
The most recent deployment overseas was the despatch of the Irish naval vessel, L.É. Eithne, to assist the Italian authorities in humanitarian search and rescue operations in th...

24. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Defence if the Defence Forces will undertake any new overseas missions during the remainder of 2014; the number of missions that have concluded thus far in 2014; the details of same; the number that will conclude during the remainder of 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20046/14 asked on 07 May 2014 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): I propose to take Questions Nos. 12 and 24 together.
As of 04 May 2014, Ireland is contributing approximately 410 Defence Forces personnel to 13 different missions throughout the world. Full details of all personnel currently serving overseas are listed in the tabular statement. The main overseas missions in which Defence Forces personnel are currently deployed are the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) with 192 personnel, and the Unite...

32. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence if he will ensure that overseas Irish peacekeeping troops are deployed in such numbers as to ensure their safety and sustainability; his views that this applies in all such instances at present such as in the Golan Heights; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 34567/14 asked on 18 Sep 2014 - Defence Forces Deployment)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): The White Paper on Defence, published in February 2000, commits the Government to sustaining the overall level of Ireland’s contribution to peacekeeping, while developing a more selective approach to future requests from the United Nations having regard to the number, size, nature and complexity of its current peacekeeping operations. 
Requests from the UN for Irish participation in new missions are dealt with under the United Nations Stand-by Arrang...

12. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Defence the numbers of Defence Forces personnel currently serving overseas; and the number and details of the missions involved. (Question 20062/14 asked on 07 May 2014 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): I propose to take Questions Nos. 12 and 24 together.
As of 04 May 2014, Ireland is contributing approximately 410 Defence Forces personnel to 13 different missions throughout the world. Full details of all personnel currently serving overseas are listed in the tabular statement. The main overseas missions in which Defence Forces personnel are currently deployed are the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) with 192 personnel, and the Unite...

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...

5. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Taoiseach the role of his Department in the annual 1916 commemoration. (Question 16664/18 asked on 25 Apr 2018 - Easter Rising Commemorations)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 5 and 6 together.
My Department is responsible for the co-ordination of the annual Easter commemoration ceremony which takes place at the GPO on Easter Sunday. Since the 90th anniversary of the Easter Rising in 2006 the commemoration has taken place annually.
The Department of Defence and the Defence Forces play a central part in the ceremonies. The detailed logistical elements of the programme are worked out in conjunction with the Office of Pub...

6. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Taoiseach if he will report on his Department’s role in the annual 1916 commemoration. (Question 17611/18 asked on 25 Apr 2018 - Easter Rising Commemorations)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 5 and 6 together.
My Department is responsible for the co-ordination of the annual Easter commemoration ceremony which takes place at the GPO on Easter Sunday. Since the 90th anniversary of the Easter Rising in 2006 the commemoration has taken place annually.
The Department of Defence and the Defence Forces play a central part in the ceremonies. The detailed logistical elements of the programme are worked out in conjunction with the Office of Pub...

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...

13. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Defence his views on recent comments by the NATO Secretary General, Mr. Anders Fogh Rasmussen, on his visit to Dublin when he stated that he hoped that the Irish Defence Forces would participate or cooperate in NATO led projects and missions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 13153/13 asked on 14 Mar 2013 - Overseas Missions)

(Deputy Fergus O’Dowd): The Secretary General of NATO, Mr. Anders Fogh Rasmussen, visited Dublin on 12 and 13 February this year. He did so at the invitation of the EU High Representative and the Minister, Deputy Shatter, to participate in the informal meeting of EU Defence Ministers, which was held at Dublin Castle, as part of Ireland’s Presidency of the EU Council 2013. During his visit Mr. Rasmussen expressed his appreciation for the co-operation NATO has had with Ireland since we joined th...