Actress Farrow pays flying visit to troops
First it was Hollywood heart-throb George Clooney. Then it was the turn of Ralph Fiennes, the star of Oscars favourite, 'The Hurt Locker'. And now Mia Farrow has added her name to the prestigious visitors' book.
Camp Ciara, the Irish military base in Chad, is quickly establishing itself as a "must-see" location on the itinerary of goodwill ambassadors for UNICEF, which is helping to save children's lives in over 150 countries worldwide.
The American-born actress, singer and former model dropped into the camp in Goz Beida yesterday to visit the troops from 102 Irish battalion, who took up duty in Chad last month. Led by Lieut Col Michael Murray, the 400 troops are drawn mainly from the Eastern Brigade, with the majority from the 27th infantry battalion in Dundalk.
The 65-year-old star of films, ranging from 'Rosemary's Baby' to 'The Great Gatsby' and 'The Omen', was welcomed by the soldiers, whom she thanked for their hard work in a harsh environment.
One of their tasks is to protect families, who live in nearby refugee camps around Goz Beida. Farrow also visited the camps during her flying visit.
The future of the Irish troops' involvement in Chad is due to be determined shortly by the UN security council in New York.
The Government has committed the troops to remain there for another year by rejecting a recommendation in the McCarthy report for an early withdrawal.
But the political leader of Chad, President Idriss Deby, is opposing plans to keep the UN mission there for a further 12 months. If the Irish have to pull out, it will leave the Defence Forces without a major mission overseas as the troops are ending their involvement in Kosovo early next month.