Irish troops begin return from Chad

The Irish troops returning from Chad are due to arrive back in Ireland next Monday, it was announced today.

The group, consisting of 212 personnel, will arrive into Dublin Airport at 3.35pm.

Minister for Defence Tony Killeen extended his congratulations to the returning contingent and to all those involved in the MINURCAT mission.

"This was probably the most difficult mission ever undertaken by the Defence Forces and the manner in which it was deployed and operated is testament to effectiveness of the modernisation process implemented by the Defence Forces over the past number of years," he said.

"I would like to thank all members of the Defence Forces who have served in Chad for their dedication, professionalism and hard work in contributing to a safe and secure environment for refugees and displaced persons.

"They follow a long and honourable tradition of commitment to international peacekeeping. It was unfortunate that we had to end our participation in the mission earlier than expected but that was a decision that had to be made.

"The Government remains deeply committed to international peacekeeping and, over the coming months, we will be looking at possible options for future deployments."

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