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Daddy’s home! Emotional scenes as Irish peacekeeping troops return to Ireland

Private Fran O’Kelly from Dublin is welcomed home by his son Francis O Kelly, aged 7 months, after a six month deployment to Lebanon. (Photo: Sam Boal/

THERE were tears and hugs as family and friends welcomed home the 109 Infantry Battalion after a six-month peacekeeping mission to Lebanon.

The Irish Defence Force soldiers came home through Dublin Airport having been away since November 2016.

There are currently 336 personnel serving in the Lebanon mission area, alongside a Finnish contingent and a platoon of Estonian soldiers.

Scroll down to watch the homecomings at Dublin Airport…

The role of Irish soldiers in the Lebanon involves extensive mobile patrolling throughout the Irish area of operations, and humanitarian operations.

The Irish military had a 540 personnel infantry battalion in the Lebanon from 1978 until 2001, initially to supervise the withdrawal of Israeli Forces after they invaded and then to restore peace and security to the area.

However, after a return to intense conflict in 2006, the Irish peacekeepers returned to Lebanon assisting with UN operations where they have remained since.

Irish peacekeepers currently conduct 10 missions around the world across Africa, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Check out the photos and video of the soldiers homecoming below… 

CPL Louise Woods welcomed home by her newphew Blake Timons (2) from Kilkenny (Picture: Sam Boal/


Marian Martin welcomes home Sgt Mark Doherty from Donegal. (Picture: Sam Boal/


Cpl Charlie O Hagan welcomed home Jayden (1) from Dundalk. (Picture: Sam Boal/


CPL Shane Kavanagh welcomed home by Caoimhe, Kayden (5), Lily (3) and Noah (1) from Arklow. (Picture: Sam Boal/

Watch the video of their homecoming here… 

109 Infantry Battalion

Welcome home the 109 Infantry Battalion! Congratulations on a job well done.

For photographs from today’s reception in Dublin Airport please visit:

Posted by Irish Defence Forces on Wednesday, 17 May 2017

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Erica Doyle Higgins

Erica Doyle Higgins is a Digital Reporter with The Irish Post. You can follow her on Twitter @EDoyleHiggins Do you have a story to share? Email

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