While looking up news reports about the volcanic ash cloud, I found out that Irish troops returning from the EUFOR mission in Chad were stranded in Portugal.
These guys are coming home from a very difficult job, carried out under horrible circumstances. They’re not going to get a parade, much of a commendation or even a Six One news spot.
But in a time when the Army is horribly underfunded and has a recruitment freeze, they have carried out their mission with the competence and professionalism that does credit to the fine history of Irish peacekeepers.The job is far from done in Chad, and I know from speaking to Defence Force personnel that the PSO wants to stay. But them coming home is not their call, but the result of cowardly political infighting in the UN, and an unwillingness to make a long term commitment to the region. I hope that we will get the opportunity to send another mission to the area and help stabilize such a traumatized region. But for the moment, I just hope they get home as soon as possible.
So kudos to them. Welcome home boys.