Wednesday 7 December 2016

Irish officer appointed head of UN mission in Lebanon

Cathal McMahon

Published 27/05/2016 | 20:55

An Irish officer has been appointed head of a major UN mission in Lebanon.

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United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the appointment of Major General Michael Beary as the Head of Mission and Force Commander of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

Major General Beary will command approx 10,598 uniformed personnel from over 40 countries with a land, maritime and air component, including an Irish Infantry Group of 186 personnel, which will increase to 360 in November.

Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces Vice Admiral Mark Mellett DSM said: “Brigadier General Beary’s appointment is an endorsement of his impressive track record of command, both at home and overseas, and is also a reflection of the substantial contribution being made by the Defence Forces to United Nations Peace Support operations in the region.”

Ireland last held the position of Force Commander UNIFIL from February 1981 to May 1986 when Lieutenant General William ‘Bull’ O’Callaghan held the appointment.

A total of 47 Irish Defence Forces personnel have lost their lives serving with UNIFIL since 1978, with over 32,000 individual tours of duty completed in that time.

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