Dáil Éireann - Volume 644 - 12 December, 2007

Written Answers. - Commemorative Events.

[198] Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Defence if his Department and the Defence Forces intend to commemorate and celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Ireland’s first participation in 1958 on a UN peacekeeping mission; if he will ensure that both veteran organisations are fully involved in these commemorations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33993/07]

  Deputy Willie O’Dea: The planning for the commemoration of Ireland’s first peacekeeping mission is well under way. A Board was convened in September this year by order of the Chief of Staff to make recommendations on the best means to mark the anniversary. The Board is due to report to the Chief of Staff before the end of December with firm proposals. It is anticipated these will include a commemorative ceremony in addition to other appropriate elements. The commemorative stamp programme for 2008 which is pending government approval includes the issue in June 2008 of a stamp which is based on a photograph of the initial contingent of five officers despatched as military observers with the United Nations Observer Group in Lebanon (UNOGIL). The veteran associations will be consulted and will be invited to participate in the commemoration.