Members of the Irish Defence Forces and An Garda Siochana who have died on peacekeeping duties were remembered at the inauguration ceremony for a memorial garden at Wexford Barracks last month.
Ireland’s Minister of Defence paying tribute to those ‘who sadly did not come home’ said:
“During my time as Minister for Defence, I have seen first hand the contribution that Irish Defence Force personnel are making to peace and security in the regions where they deploy.
“In June, we held a state event in Dublin Castle to mark our 60th anniversary of involvement in UN Peacekeeping. But that event was not just for celebration of our proud Peacekeeping record.
“It gave us an opportunity to remember the personnel who served proudly under the Blue Helmet, but sadly never came home.
The 87 members of the Defence Forces, and one member of An Garda Siochana, who we have lost will always be remembered for their dedication and commitment to our State.”
Irish Army and Irish Naval Service together with members of An Garda Sichana have been involved in peacekeeping or humanitarian duties globally since the early United Nations deployment in the former Belgian Congo in the 1960s.
One operation alone (that in Lebanon) has been ongoing for four decades.
Image: Irish peacekeepers of a machine gun unit on deployment in the Congo- early 1960s.