Written answers

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Department of Defence

Overseas Missions Data

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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79. To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of Army, Naval Service and Air Corps personnel serving overseas with the UN or otherwise; the number of missions anticipated in the course of 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9727/19]

Photo of Paul KehoePaul Kehoe (Wexford, Fine Gael)
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As of 1 February 2019, Ireland is contributing 673 personnel to 9 different missions throughout the world and also to a range of international organisations and National representations.

The total number of Defence Forces personnel, Army, Navy and Air Corps currently serving overseas is 653 Army, 16 Air Corps and 4 Naval Service.

The main overseas missions in which Defence Forces personnel are currently deployed is the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) with 458 personnel and the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in Syria with 136 personnel. The UNIFIL mission in Lebanon continues to represent Ireland's largest overseas deployment.

Until recently, Irish troops served as part of a joint Irish-Finnish Battalion in UNIFIL. The Finnish contingent also included an Estonian Platoon comprising some 36 personnel. Due to other National commitments both Finland and Estonia withdrew from the Irish-Finnish Battalion in UNIFIL in November 2018.As an interim measure, an additional contingent of approximately 106 Defence Forces Personnel have been deployed to the UNIFIL mission to cover the backfilling of the Finnish contingent for a 12 month period. This additional commitment will continue throughout 2019 as Ireland has assumed full duties and responsibilities of IRISHBATT up to November 2019.

Poland advised that they would be willing to partner Ireland in UNIFIL from November, 2019. It is proposed that Hungarian personnel would also deploy as part of the Polish contingent. Discussions on the details of this arrangement are currently being advanced.

With regard to the deployment of Defence Forces personnel to new military operations overseas, the deployment of a small contingent of Army Ranger Wing personnel to the MINUSMA mission in Mali is under active consideration for 2019. MINUSMA is the UN mission providing support to the Malian Government in reasserting its authority over northern Mali. I must stress however, that these considerations are at a very early stage and further detailed analysis and planning will be required in advance of seeking Government approval for a deployment.

The Department of Defence constantly reviews the deployment of Defence Forces personnel overseas. Ireland receives requests, from time to time, in relation to participation in various missions and these are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Ireland has always been a strong supporter of the United Nations and UN Peacekeeping. Our commitment and support for the primary role of the United Nations, in the maintenance of international peace and security, is expressed in Ireland's long-standing tradition of participating in UN peacekeeping operations. This commitment is also expressed in our engagement in the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP)

Full details of all personnel currently serving overseas are shown in the tabular statement beneath.


NTA capital and current Exchequer allocation as per published Agency Statements

NTA Allocation as % of total allocation for Vote PSO funding allocated to the NTA under Vote

PSO funding as % of NTA allocation

2013399 33%22757%


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