Peacekeepers return home to tears of joy
Published 18/11/2016 | 02:30
Irish peacekeepers were given a hero's welcome as they returned home after a six-month peacekeeping mission in Lebanon.
Children wept tears of joy as they leapt into the arms of their mothers and fathers as 190 troops from the 53rd Infantry Group of the Irish Army arrived in Dublin Airport.
Among them was Captain Tom Fitzpatrick (29), from Kilkenny, who made a beeline for the exit.
His wife Andrea (29) gave birth to their daughter Aida just 24 hours earlier and he couldn't wait to get home to see his newborn baby.
"She rang me and said 'you've got a baby girl', so that's why I'm going now straight to the hospital," he said.
"I'm delighted now after a great trip overseas. It was very rewarding. And to come home now, this is what it's all about," he said beaming.
Battalion Quartermaster Sergeant Brian Cronin (48), from Ratoath, Co Meath, who has completed 14 tours of duty, said he was delighted to be home.