Coveney backs idea of more overseas missions for Army

Minister for Defence has acknowledged this would require boosting numbers by at least 1,000 personnel

Simon Coveney added that it would be difficult to respond to such requests unless the Defence Forces increased its number of personnel

The government would like to see the Defence Forces take part in more peacekeeping missions in Africa over the coming years, Simon Coveney has said.

Ireland has a long record of peacekeeping missions and currently has approximately 351 personnel deployed with the United Nations’ Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and a further 138 deployed with the UN’s Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in Syria.

A smaller number of troops are taking part in missions in Mali, ...