Hundreds of members of Irish Defence Forces spending Christmas Day overseas

Military personnel are based in 15 countries across the world, with the largest missions in Lebanon and Golan Heights

Hundreds of members of Irish Defence Forces spending Christmas Day overseas

Image: HUSSEIN MALLA / AP/Press Association Images

Members of the Irish Defence Forces - based in 15 different countries - will be spending this Christmas Day overseas.

The largest mission is with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon with 198 serving military personnel.

139 members of the Defence Forces are currently deployed to the Golan Heights in Syria with the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force.

Captain Joanne Naughten, from Athlone, is based in Goma - just east of Congo.

Describing her Christmas Day, Joanne said it was another working day. After attending morning mass and before their Christmas dinner, they travelled to a local orphanage to give gifts and play football with the kids:

In total, there are 424 military personnel serving around the world.

Members of the Defence Forces will also be sitting down to Christmas dinner in Mali, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Ivory Coast and Democratic Republic of the Congo.