Covid-19: Defence Minister says everything is being done to get soldiers home

Covid-19: Defence Minister says everything is being done to get soldiers home

The Defence Minister is asking families of soldiers stuck in missions abroad to trust he is doing everything to get them home.

Due to Covid-19, the UN has put a stay on peacekeeping rotations which has left many soldiers unable to return home as planned.

The largest Irish contingent was due back this month from Lebanon but that has been put back due to coronavirus and security issues in Beirut.

Minister Paul Kehoe has sought approval from the UN in New York to get the Irish soldiers home and says work is ongoing behind the scenes.

"I ask the families to trust me and to trust the Department and the military management that whatever can be done is being done and swiftly as possible," said Mr Kehoe.

"Unfortunately, we are in unprecedented times and this is a very difficult and complex situation."

Minister Kehoe said that they have applied for a special exemption and are waiting for the UN to agree potential dates for the rotation.

"However, I must stress that it is a hugely complex logistical situation and the military authorities have confirmed to me that our personnel are being fully briefed by their commanders on an ongoing basis."

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