Friday 9 December 2016

'I look forward to spending our first Christmas together' - Irish Defence Forces send their festive wishes home

Published 21/12/2015 | 16:42

Pte. Graham Hogan from Dublin
Pte. Graham Hogan from Dublin "Have a great Christmas to all my family and friends"
Pte. Declan Toland from Westmeath and Pte Aaron Kelly from Dublin "Happy Christmas to our family and friends"
SGWM Bronac Kelly from Antrim "Merry Christmas to all my family in Belfast and Carnlough"
Capt. Liam Halpin "Happy Christmas to my girlfriend Nicole and all my family, Mary, Danny, Jean and Brian"
Pte. Alanna Harnan from Westmeath "Happy Christmas to Brian, Kate and Danny"
Pte. Thomas Murphy from Dublin "Happy Christmas to my little right hand man Callum"
Sgt. Alan Coffey "Wishing everyone at home a very Happy Christmas"
Sgt. Grattan O'Rourke from Cork "Happy Christmas to all my family and friends at home in Ireland"
Tpr. James White "Happy Christmas to all my friends and family"
Sgt. Michael Barry "Wishing my wife Leonie and my son Michael a wonderful Christmas Day"
Cpl. Pa Twomey from Cork "Wishing my family and friends a very Happy Christmas"
Sgt. Leon Clarke from Dublin "Happy Christmas and best wishes for the New Year to my wife Sinead and daughters Rebecca and Vanessa and son Andrew"
Chaplain Bernard McCay Morrissey "Wishing all my family and friends a Happy Christmas"
Company Sgt. Stephen O'Neil from Kildare "I wish my wife and son a very Happy Christmas. I look forward to seeing you soon"
Company Sgt. John Kennedy from Dublin "I would like to wish my family a very Happy Christmas and best wishes for the new year to my comrades in the 7th Battalion
Comdt. Eamon Kirby from Kildare "Seasons Greetings to all at home in Kildare and Tipperary"
Comdt. Colin Lawlor from Laois "Happy Christmas to everyone at home especially my wife Ann-Marie and daughters Annabelle, Jessica and Aoife"
Capt. Andrew O'Shaughnessey from Limerick "Happy Christmas to my wife Emer and my son Fionn. I look forward to spending our first Christmas together"

'Where are you having Christmas dinner this year?' is a question often asked of your friends and colleagues around the festive season.

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But, for 424 military personnel representing the Irish Defence Forces in fifteen countries across the globe, December 25 will be spent far from home.

Almost 200 of our Irish troops are currently serving with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) while some 139 will be passing the cranberry sauce with the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) on the Golan Heights in Syria.

As we scramble for the last bit of twine and tinsel this week, take some time out to remember those who will be in areas such as Mali, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Ivory Coast and Democratic Republic of the Congo on Thursday.

They have some messages to share with us - here are just a few...

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