16th March 2016 - 415 Irish Soldiers Will Celebrate St. Patrick's Day Overseas .

On St. Patrick's Day 2016, 415 Irish Soldiers will be deployed to 15 countries on 14 different peace support missions across the globe. From Mali to Kosovo, Lebanon to The Democratic Republic of Congo, Irish Troops will celebrate our National Day with a mix of military and cultural traditions.

Earlier today the 135 Irish Soldiers of the 50th Infantry Group currently based in Camp Ziouani in the Golan Heights received their hard earned United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) Medal. The medals were presented by the Defence Forces’ Chief of Staff, Vice Admiral Mark Mellett DSM, The Irish Ambassador to Israel, Her Excellency Alison Kelly, UNDOF Force Commander, Major General Jai Shenkor Menon and Deputy Force Commander Brigadier General Anthony Hanlon. On the occasion Vice Admiral Mark Mellett DSM stated:

"It's a privilege to present medals to the men and women of the 50th Infantry Group UNDOF as we approach St Patrick's Day. Their work in the cause of peace reflects the best traditions of Óglaigh na hÉireann which is currently contributing to peace and security on some 14 missions around the world. In that regard I wish to acknowledge the service of our 415 personnel currently deployed abroad."

The deployment of Irish troops to the Golan Heights is a relatively recent departure, and highlights Ireland’s valuable contribution to peace and security in the region. In order to carry out its mandate UNDOF maintains an area of separation which is over 75 kilometres long and varies in width between approximately 10 kilometres in the centre to 200 metres in the extreme south.

The terrain is mountainous and is dominated in the north by Mount Hermon, which is the location of the highest permanently manned United Nations position at an altitude of 2,814 metres. The 50th Infantry Group are the fifth Irish contingent to constitute the Force Reserve Company of an overall UNDOF Mission strength of 789 troops.

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Press Release Date: Wednesday 16 March 2016

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