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12.52 13 May 2018


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Updated: 15.30

Ceremonies have been held to recognise and honour former servicemen and women in the Irish Defence Forces.

The Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Paul Kehoe, laid a wreath at the National Museum of Ireland at Collins Barracks in Dublin.

He also inspected Irish UN Veterans Association personnel.

As part of Defence Forces Veterans Day, he was accompanied by the Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces, Vice Admiral Mark Mellett.

Minister Kehoe lays a wreath at Defence Forces Veterans Day in memory of deceased members | Image via @defenceforces on Twitter

There was also a Defence Forces military equipment display.

This is the fifth such Veteran's Day to take place, an event that is now held annually.

It rotates between the various military installations nationwide.

The Defence Forces also especially remembered all members who have paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving at home or overseas service.

Speaking at the event, Minister Kehoe said: "I extend a very special welcome to former servicemen and women of the Defence Forces.

"Today is your day – a day in which the Defence Forces acknowledges your past service both at home and around the world."

"This is a very special year for the Defence Forces as it marks significant anniversaries in relation to Ireland’s UN peacekeeping role - it is the 60th anniversary of Ireland’s first participation in a UN peacekeeping mission and it is the 40th anniversary of our first deployment to Lebanon as part of the UNIFIL mission."

Minister Kehoe inspects the Irish UN Veterans Association personnel on parade in Collins Barracks | Image via @defenceforces on Twitter

He added that "for 60 years now the men and women from the Irish Defence Forces have contributed to the cause of peace all around the world in places like Lebanon, the Congo, the Golan Heights, Chad, Liberia, East Timor and Syria serving with honour and distinction."

Irish troops are currently deployed in UN, EU and NATO-led missions in Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

There are almost 640 members of the Permanent Defence Force serving in nine overseas missions - including UNIFIL, UNDOF and Operation Sophia in the Mediterranean Sea.


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