Irish peacekeeping troops will remain in Kosovo and Afghanistan for another year, it emerged tonight.
Defence Minister Willie O’Dea secured Cabinet approval for a 12-month deployment extension for the 291 personnel.
There are 284 troops stationed with the Kfor (Kosovo Force) mission in Kosovo and seven are serving with the Isaf (International Security Assistance Force) operation in Afghanistan.
Mr O’Dea said: “Ireland shares and supports the determination of he international community to help build a safe and secure Kosovo, with guarantees for the promotion and protection of the rights of all communities and their members.
“The seven members of the Defence Forces that are operating with Isaf, are in staff appointments in Isaf HQ in Kabul.
“They are generally situated within the Isaf compound, and are therefore subject to enhanced security.
“The situation on the ground will continue to be the subject of ongoing risk assessment.”