Friday 23 August 2019

Tears and cheers as delayed Irish troops finally return to families

Welcome home: Dad Dylan McCauley and son Callum get together as troops from the 58th Infantry Group return from the UN Disengagement Observer Force. Photo: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos
Welcome home: Dad Dylan McCauley and son Callum get together as troops from the 58th Infantry Group return from the UN Disengagement Observer Force. Photo: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos
Robin Schiller

Robin Schiller

There were emotional scenes at Dublin Airport as 130 troops whose return from duty in Syria had been was delayed were finally welcomed home by their loved ones.

A large crowd, some holding tri-colours and homemade signs, gathered in the arrivals hall to celebrate the return of the 58th Infantry.

Shortly after 8pm the troops began filtering through, having been delayed by four days due to an issue with the UN getting approval for their transport aircraft to land in Lebanon. They had been deployed in the Golan Heights for a six-month tour, and have been replaced by the 59th Infantry Group.

One of those returning home was Private Dylan McCauley, from Finglas in Dublin, who met his five-month-old baby boy Callum for the first time.

"It's amazing seeing the baby for the first time and to see how much he's grown. It's a shock and he's in a routine now, it's still easier than looking after a newborn," he said laughing.

"We have Skype and that so it wasn't too bad but the hardest part was missing the birth, that was definitely the hardest part," he said.

Family reunion: Private Mark Dunne, from Finglas in Dublin, with partner Aoife Brennan and daughters Hallie (7) and Sadie (2) at Dublin Airport. Photo: Arthur Carron
Family reunion: Private Mark Dunne, from Finglas in Dublin, with partner Aoife Brennan and daughters Hallie (7) and Sadie (2) at Dublin Airport. Photo: Arthur Carron

Also returning home was Lieutenant Colonel Mairead Murphy, from Naas, Co Kildare who said: "I was there for three-and-a-half months and it's fabulous to be home.

"We had a great time, there was good morale with a great bunch of people. People from all over Ireland came together to do their job overseas and there was great positivity and I'm just really excited to be home."

Irish Independent

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