The 57th Infantry Group assembled at Kilkenny Castle Park this morning
People lined the streets of Kilkenny City this morning to see a 'march past' by the troops of the 57th Infantry Group, following an inspection by Minister with Responsibility for Defence Paul Kehoe.
The 128 men and women, who are based at the James Stephens Barracks, have now completed preparation for their six month deployment to the Golan Heights as part of the United Nations Disengagement Observation Force (UNDOF). The deployment group includes 37 troops from Kilkenny. They assembled this morning at Castle Park, where family members, friends, and well wishers gathered to see them.
The Unit Colours were blessed, while Minister Kehoe addressed those present. He said he was delighted to be in Kilkenny 'as a Wexford man' to review the personnel of the 57th Infantry group.
"This marks the 60th anniversary of Irish participation in UN peacekeeping missions, and it is an opportune time to acknowledge the significant contribution of the Irish Defence Forces personnel to such missions," he said.
"Participation in overseas peacekeeping missions is a key element of Ireland's foreign policy, and has been an important dimension of meeting Ireland's international obligations as members of the UN and EU."