News Elections

Saturday 23 August 2014

Our peacekeepers among first to cast votes

Tom Brady Security Editor

Published 23/05/2014 | 02:30

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Commandant Michael Nestor from Laois is among the Defence Forces personnel currently voting overseas by postal ballot

IRISH peacekeeping troops serving overseas are traditionally among the first to cast their vote in elections here.

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Taking advantage of the postal ballot in far-flung Mali earlier this week were members of the eight-strong contingent deployed with an EU military mission to help train the local security forces. So far, the Irish have trained three Malian battalions, comprising 1,800 personnel.

The locals undergo a 10-week training cycle and then serve in a combined arms unit with infantry, cavalry, engineers and bomb disposal skills.

Courier service

The Defence Forces currently have 410 personnel serving overseas in 16 missions, and while most are from the Army, the group also includes members of the Naval Service and Air Corps.

All military usually vote by postal ballot, whether at home or overseas.

The ballots are delivered by a commercial courier service.

The exceptions are Lebanon and Syria, where a military courier is sent.

Irish Independent

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