Company Sergeant Billy Coffey, Newbridge
Kildare Defence Forces troops from 117th Infantry Battalion deployed with the UN in South Lebanon have sent home Valentine's messages to their loved ones. The 117th Infantry Battalion deployed to Lebanon last November. Some 340 Irish and 11 Maltese personnel are serving with the battalion, including 36 Kildare soldiers.
According to the Defence Forces, they cannot have their normal three weeks of leave during their six-month tours, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Having been away from their families for Christmas, the troops are now celebrating a virtual Valentine's Day.
Company Sergeant Billy Coffey from Newbridge (pictured above)
Happy Valentine’s Day and 32nd wedding anniversary to my lovely wife Rose Coffey. I can’t wait to see you in May.
Private Padraig Murphy, Kildare
Happy Valentine’s Day to my girlfriend Michelle, love Padraig
Trooper Conor Nolan-Kelly, Leixlip
Just want to wish a Happy Valentine's to my partner Rachel. Missing you so much Rach, dying to get home to you and the family, you know how much you all mean to me and how special you are. Love you so so much! xxx
Lieutenant Andrew Dawson, Mullingar
Wishing his girlfriend Brianna Byrne from Clane, Co Kildare, a great Valentine’s Day in 2021.
The Defence Forces currently have 585 soldiers deployed on 14 overseas missions around the globe. The 117th Infantry Battalion deployed with UNIFIL comprises of 340 Defence Forces personnel and 11 personnel from the Armed Forces of Malta.
UNIFIL is the Defence Forces largest overseas deployment. The lead home unit for the 117th Irish contingent is the 28th Infantry Battalion based in Finner Camp, Co. Donegal. The unit has troops from all 32 counties, Co. Dublin being the largest contributor with 59 representatives, followed by Co. Donegal (44), Co. Cork (38) and Co. Kildare (36).