IRELAND is preparing to commit about 120 soldiers with armoured vehicles to a new UN peace force when a ceasefire is declared between Israel and the Hizbollah.
About 90 infantry soldiers mounted in Mowag armoured personnel carriers backed up by other support troops will be offered to the UN which is planning to expand the current UNIFIL force of 2,000 soldiers to 15,000 to police the peace between the two sides.
However, the Irish troops will not be tied down to the static garrison role that they played for 23 years as part of the UNIFIL force which withdrew in 2001. Instead, they will form part of a quick reaction force, similiar to that in Liberia.
Foreign Affairs Minister Dermot Ahern said yesterday Ireland would be willing to contribute a few hundred troops.
All-time low Irish homeless in UK THE number of homeless Irish people living in London has dropped to an all-time low. Seven years ago there were 600 Irish people living on the streets of the six inner city boroughs of the English capital, but this has fallen to around 100 this year.
Charities working with the homeless have attributed the fall in numbers to the Irish Government's Dion project which gives money to welfare societies for Irish emigrants in Britain. The grants this year will total ?8.7m.
No winner of ?2.5m Lotto THERE was no winner of last night's Lotto jackpot of almost ?2.5m, so Wednesday's jackpot will be around ?3m. The winning numbers were 10, 22, 28, 31, 34 and 41 (bonus 27).
There were no Match 5+bonus winners; 90 Match 5 (?1,020), 221 Match 4+bonus (?142), 3,597 Match 4 (?49) and 4,764 Match 3+bonus (?22). The Lotto Plus Draw 1 numbers were 8, 13, 18, 20, 23, 30 (bonus 41). The Lotto Plus Draw 2 numbers were 5, 7, 18, 26, 34, 38 (bonus 15).
And in the UK's £7.6m main draw the winning numbers were 24, 43, 46, 38, 49, 30 (bonus 06).
Arson attack on immigrants SIX Polish immigrants were taken to hospital yesterday after an arson attack on their home in Belfast.
Several people were treated for smoke inhalation after the suspected racist attack in the east of the city. A 24-year-old man was arrested.
Irish fish goes to UK processing 'DONEGAL Catch' fish will make a 500-mile round journey from Irish waters to North Yorkshire in the UK for processing before they end up on our supermarket shelves.
Green Isle Foods is closing its 'Donegal Catch' processing plant in Boyle, Co Roscommon with the loss of 78 jobs.
Six held after Orange parade A NUMBER of people have been arrested after violence erupted following a parade by loyalists in Northern Ireland.
The demonstration by the Derry Apprentice Boys had passed off largely peacefully, apart from six arrests for public order offences. A petrol bomb was thrown at police in Fahan Street and a stone-throwing incident took place at Butcher Gate. A number of petrol bombs were recovered by officers from the Fahan Street area of the Nationalist Bogside.
Two men hold up service station TWO men, one armed with a handgun, got away with a sum of money in a raid on a service station in Duleek, Co Meath on Friday night. No shots were fired during the incident and no arrests have been made.
Racecourse boss leaves ?8m A RETIRED racecourse manager from Kildare has left over ?8m in his will. Patrick Connolly of Naas Road, Kilcullen, Co Kildare, who died in January left estate valued at ?8,169,675.
Adelaide Mary Arabin McCormick, Dublin Rd, Bray, Co Wicklow, who died in April 2002 left ?5,660,998; Claire Duff, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, who died in May of 2004 left ?4,496,241; Madeline Egan, Killiney Road, Killiney, Co Dublin, who died in Febuary left ?2,689,232; Eamonn McDermott, Knockroe, Castlerea, Co Roscommon, who died in November 2005 left ?1,270,154; Eileen Bowe, Ardevin Rd, Dalkey, Co Dublin, who died in September 2004, left £1,009,983.
Dan Spring, a public representative and former Labour Party TD, of Strand Street, Tralee, Co Kerry, who died in September, 1988 left estate of ?20,000 and Anna Spring of the same address who died in September, 1997, left estate valued at ?33,333.