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I have the highest respect for the Irish Defence Forces. The defence forces are considered by their peers to be highly efficient and professional.
I note of late the term “heroes” has been applied to the crews of LÉ Eithne and LÉ Niamh.
Members of the defence forces have since their initial overseas deployment to Congo have on many occasions acted in a manner which could be referred to as “heroes”.
The latest incident was on the Golan Heights, where Irish peacekeepers serving with United Nations Disengagement Observer Force, (UNDOF) staged an operation to secure the rescue of Pilipino and Fijian colleagues cut off and surrounded by Islamic state terrorists.
This rescue was carried out, under fire, with precision and efficiency. The rescuers and their colleagues returned safely to a UN camp in an Israeli occupied area of separation.
This successful rescue operation received little publicity in Ireland.
Members of our defence forces who serve overseas deserve our gratitude and respect. They have represented Ireland with dignity, honour and efficiency. They have contributed to the high regard held for Ireland in many parts of the world.
Out of respect for all members of the Irish Defence Forces, we should not confuse acts of “outstanding bravery” while “under fire” with a “job well done”.
Michael A Moriarty
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