Christmas comes early for families of Lebanon troops with return home
SANTA dropped off an early Christmas present for four-year-old James Delaney when his father arrived home from the Lebanon this afternoon.
Corporal Ian Delaney, from Cobh, Co Cork, was one of the 171 Irish Army troops that arrived home to Ireland after a six-month tour of duty in the south of the Lebanon.
Touching down in Dublin airport shortly after 1pm, there was tears of joy as the troops walked through the doors into the arms of their loved ones.
Lieutenant Ciara Gubbins, from Fermoy Co Cork, was welcomed home by her boyfriend and her parents, Laurence and Anne.
"It was an absolutely fantastic experience," she said.
"I missed my family and friends the most, because that's the one thing that you are constantly thinking of. You are very busy out there, so other things aren't as important," she added.
Lieutenant Gubbins will now jet off on a two week holiday to Costa Rico and New York before Christmas.
The 108 Infantry Battalion was under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Anthony McKenna.
Altogether, the Irish Army has made a total of 882 trips abroad
Their replacements, the 42nd Infantry Group, started their rotation to Lebanon last week.