Council Holds Civic Reception For Members Of The Defence Forces

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Councillor Jim Finucane with Commandant Cathal Keohane at the Civic Reception for the Defence Forces on Monday. Photo by Lisa O’Mahony.

KERRY County Council held a Civic Reception to honour members of the Defence Forces for their contribution to United Nations peacekeeping, on Monday.

Members of the permanent Defence Forces and the reserve Defence Forces were welcomed in the council chambers for the occasion, by proposer of the Civic Reception, Councillor Jim Finucane.

The Republic of Ireland became a member of the United Nations in 1955. Three years later the defence forces provided unarmed observers for Lebanon, their first United Nations mission.

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Since then, over 30,000 personnel have served in Lebanon and contributed to the community life, and the development of the communities that they were engaged with. But it did come at a cost. Over 47 members of the Defence Forces lost their lives in Lebanon.

Since 1978, the Defence Forces have had a continuous presence in UN service.

Councillor Jim Finucane said; “The Republic of Ireland has always been one of the first countries requested for troops by the United Nations, simply because we have no baggage.  There is an acceptance of the Irish as peacekeepers that no other nation has.”

Commandant Cathal Keohane accepted the award on behalf of his colleagues. He was grateful for the honour and said; “We feel the link between Kerry people and the Defence Forces very deeply, and would like to express our gratitude for the honour today.”

Members of Defence Force at the Civic Reception held by Kerry County Council. Photo by Lisa O’Mahony.

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