Christmas greetings from Kildare soldiers abroad

Holiday messages

Paula Campbell

Reporter:

Paula Campbell

Email:

paula@leinsterleader.ie

Christmas greetings from Kildare soldiers abroad

Corporal Michael Byrne From: Celbridge, sends a happy Christmas from the Golan Heights

Christmas wishes have been sent from Kildare soldiers abroad.

Each year the Leinster Leader prints Christmas messages from our troops who are away from home for the big day to their loved ones back at home in Kildare and below are this year’s special deliveries:

Corporal Michael Byrne From: Celbridge, sends a happy Christmas from the Golan Heights

“I want to wish all my family and friends back home a happy Christmas. And to my kids Jacob and Sofia, daddy loves and misses you I will see you soon.”

Lt Col Cathal English from Athy sends a message home to his family.

“To all my friends and family especially my sons Cian and Oisín who will be especially embarrassed by this picture! I hope you all have a great Christmas and I look forward to seeing you all soon. Best wishes, Cathal.”

Cathal is serving with United Nations Mission MONUSCO in Congo this Christmas.

Meanwhile the Defence Forces has the longest unbroken record of overseas service with the United Nations of any country in the world since first deploying to a United Nations mission in 1958.

In 2019, Defence Forces personnel served overseas on missions with the United Nations, NATO PfP (Partnership for Peace), EU and OSCE Peace Support and Security Operations across 14 missions in 13 countries. There are currently 595 Defence Forces personnel serving overseas.

The largest Defence Forces deployment is in South Lebanon with UNIFIL, where over 330 Irish personnel are deployed to maintain a safe and secure environment.

In November 2019, Ireland partnered with Poland on this mission.