Cowen to visit Irish troops in Kosovo

Taoiseach Brian Cowen will tomorrow make a pre-Christmas visit to Irish troops serving in Kosovo.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen will tomorrow make a pre-Christmas visit to Irish troops serving in Kosovo.

Mr Cowen will be accompanied by Defence Minister Willie O’Dea when he meets peacekeepers at their Camp Clarke base outside Pristina.

Some 200 troops are stationed in the Balkan state as part of the multi-national Kfor operation.

Meanwhile, RTÉ is to televise a live Christmas Day link-up with peacekeepers serving in Chad and Kosovo.

The ceremony has been planned to pay tribute to the 765 Irish troops serving on overseas duty during the festive season.

The link-up is part of a live RTÉ One broadcast of Christmas Day morning Mass from McKee Barracks in Dublin.

Personal messages will also be conveyed to the peacekeepers from President Mary McAleese, who is Commander-in Chief of the Defence Forces, and the Chief of Staff, Lt Gen Dermot Earley.

The Mass at the Garrison Church in McKee Barracks will be celebrated by McKee Barracks chaplain Rev Pat Mernagh and Rev Dan McCarthy of Stephen’s Barracks, Kilkenny.

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