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Tuesday 23 September 2014

Irish soldier among group that had shots fired over heads

Published 08/03/2014 | 21:45

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Defence Forces confirm an Irish Army Colonel is a member of OSCE Observer Team in Ukraine

AN Irish Army colonel is among the team of unarmed European monitors forced back from the Crimean border today after shots were fired over their heads.

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Col Paddy McDaniel , originally from Monaghan, has been on secondment with the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) based in Vienna for the past year.

Col McDaniel, who served in Defence Forces Headquarters in Dublin before serving with the OSCE, was one of 40 observers who have been trying to enter Crimea for the past four days. They were turned back on each occasions and shots were fired over their heads by pro-Russian soldiers yesterday morning.

 The OSCE has been invited by the Ukraine government to monitor the growing crisis in Crimea.

The shots were fired after the military assessment team from OSCE states neared the checkpoint in the city of Armyansk, according to OSCE’s official Twitter account. No injuries were reported. The observers returned to the nearby city of Kherson, the OSCE said.

The OSCE said its delegation will continue to attempt to enter the country.

Co; McDaniel is one of five Irish officers serving with the OSCE which was set up to ensure the peaceful resolution of conflicts and potential conflicts in eastern Europe in the aftermath of the Cold War.

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