Section 85 applies only to members of the Permanent Defence Force employed on a State ship or service aircraft which is travelling outside the territorial seas of the State. State ships or aircraft have not been deployed on service with the United Nations or other international organisations.
The specific provision, within the corpus of defence legislation, under which members of the Permanent Defence Force can be deployed overseas is contained in section 2 of the Defence Amendment (No. 2) Act 1960.
Section 2 of the above Act provides that a contingent of the Permanent Defence Force may be despatched for service outside the State as part of a particular international United Nations force if, but only if, a resolution has been passed by Dáil Éireann approving of the despatch of a contingent of the Permanent Defence Force for service outside the State as part of that international United Nations force. Dáil approval is not required for the dispatch of a contingent where the size of a Defence Forces contribution is fewer than twelve personnel.
"International United Nations Force" is defined in the Defence Amendment Act 1993, as "an international force or body established by the Security Council or the General Assembly of the United Nations".