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60 Years Peacekeeping1958 - 2018

This year marks the 60th Anniversary of Ireland's first Peacekeeping deployment in 1958.

Since then, Ireland have maintained the longest unbroken service on the front line of peace with over 70,000 individual tours of duty completed by the men and women of Óglaigh na hÉireann.

This year, we remember the 87 members of the Defence Forces who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of Peace.

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Wednesday 20 December 2017 - Return of LÉ Niamh (P52) From Deployment.

The Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces, Vice Admiral Mark Mellett DSM, will welcome home the crew  of LÉ  Niamh to Haulbowline Naval Base, Cork,  at 11am on Wednesday 20th December 2017.

LÉ Niamh was the first Irish Naval Service ship to deploy to the EU Naval mission Operation Sophia when she sailed on 6th of October this year.

Commanded by Lieutenant Commander Stewart Armstrong, a total of 57 members of the Defence Forces onboard LÉ  Niamh will be welcomed home by the family, friends and colleagues at the quay wall.

Operation Sophia

The mission's core mandate is to undertake systematic efforts to identify, capture and dispose of vessels and enabling assets used or suspected of being used by migrant smugglers or traffickers, in order to contribute to wider EU efforts to disrupt the business model of human smuggling and trafficking networks in the Southern Central Mediterranean and prevent the further loss of life at sea.

Since 7 October 2015, as agreed by the EU Ambassadors within the Security Committee on 28 September, the operation moved to phase 2 International Waters, which entails boarding, search, seizure and diversion, on the high seas, of vessels suspected of being used for human smuggling or trafficking. On 25 July 2017 the Council extended Operation Sophia’s mandate until 31 December 2018.

Read more about the LÉ Niamh (P52)


Press Release Date: Wednesday 20 December 2017

For Further Information contact:

Press Officer: Comdt. Pat O'Connor

Tel: 045 49 2502 , 045 49 2503

Mobile : 087 2482130

E-mail: Press Officer