Final Defence Forces mission to Golan Heights returns to Ireland today

133 soldiers will arrive in Dublin Airport this afternoon after six months on Israel-Syria border

The Defence Forces has ended its final peacekeeping mission on the Golan Heights with the 68th Infantry Group returning to Ireland today.

The 133 soldiers will arrive at Dublin Airport this afternoon following Ireland’s final six-month deployment on the border between Syria and Israel.

The Defence Forces have withdrawn from the mission because of personnel shortages.

Last month Tánaiste and Minister for Defence Micheál Martin announced the decision to withdraw from the mission following the conclusion of an assessment of the sustainability of overseas commitments.


The Defence Forces joined the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in September 2013 and since then more than 3,000 personnel have served on the mission, supervising an area of separation between Israel Syria which is over 75km long.

The personnel led by Lieut Col Oliver Clear, will be met by their families and friends. Drawn from many different Units across the Army and Air Corps, the majority of the 68th Infantry Group personnel are drawn from the 6th Infantry Battalion based in Custume Barracks, Athlone, Co. Westmeath.

Marie O'Halloran

Marie O'Halloran

Marie O'Halloran is Parliamentary Correspondent of The Irish Times