John Daly, Kildare, sends Christmas greetings home
Kildare has a long and proud history of local Defence Forces members serving overseas — and many local families are used to having a loved one abroad on a peacekeeping mission at Christmastime.
The Defence Forces currently has 650 military personnel serving in 13 different countries around the world. 2018 also marked the 60th anniversary of unbroken overseas service with the United Nations since first deploying in 1958. This record is unique to Ireland.
Currently, the largest Defence Forces deployment is to South Lebanon with UNIFIL where over 460 personnel are deployed. There are also over 130 personnel deployed as a Disengagement Observer Force in the Golan Heights, UNDOF, where in October last they completed a relocation from the Golan Heights to Syria. Defence Forces members also serve in smaller numbers in missions deployed to Mali, Kosovo, Bosnia, The Democratic Republic of Congo and Western Sahara.
“Our personnel can only do the important work of peace because of the support they receive from their families and friends at home when they deploy,” said a Defence Forces statement.
HERE ARE SOME MESSAGES HOME FROM KILDARE MEMBERS OVERSEAS THIS CHRISTMAS:
HAPPY CHRISTMAS FROM CONGO
As myself and my husband spend another Christmas apart, I just want to say thank you to him; thank you for taking care of our dog, our house and our ‘real life’. I am looking forward to my leave in January and to spending some time exploring a little piece of Africa.
I am also incredibly grateful to the Irish Defence Forces for the opportunity to serve in this mission and to develop myself both professionally and personally. This is the reason I joined the Defence Forces. Without our partners and families at home keeping the show on the road we, as military personnel, would not be able to commit ourselves to our mission. It is the families of DF personnel serving overseas who deserve the medals and accolades on our return from overseas. deployments.
— Captain Deirdre Carbery
GREETINGS FROM THE GOLAN HEIGHTS, SYRIA
Sgt Major Eddie Porter from Monasterevin wishes his family and friends a very happy Christmas
Happy Christmas from Private Darren Kenny, The Curragh
Captain Steve Keane from Kildare send greeting home to his family and friends
Sgt John Daly, Kildare town, wishes his family a very happy Christmas
Season's greetings to family and friends back home in Ireland from Kosovo
— CS Matthew McNamara (RIGHT)
UNIFIL LEBANON GREETINGS
I want to wish my family and fiancée a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year. Can’t wait to see you all soon! — Second Lieutenant John Nevin, Sallins
A SPECIAL DEFENCE FORCES CHRISTMAS TREE FROM THE GOLAN HEIGHTS!