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Defence Forces

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 26 April 2022

Tuesday, 26 April 2022

Questions (808)

Michael Ring


808. Deputy Michael Ring asked the Minister for Defence the reason that services have been restricted (details supplied); the efforts that are being made to improve these services to allow meaningful communications with home; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20436/22]

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Written answers (Question to Defence)

The 65th Infantry Group, comprising approximately 138 personnel, deployed to the United Nations Disengagement Observer  Force (UNDOF) on the Golan Heights earlier this month for a six month tour of duty. The Group is based in Camp Faouar on the Syrian side of the area of separation.

As a result of an increase in the cost of fuel and energy consumption in the UNDOF mission, the UNDOF Force Commander introduced a number of measures aimed at conserving fuel and energy. These included turning off electrical power in Camp Faouar for approximately four hours each night. Troops from nine Troop Contributing Nations, including Ireland, live and work in Camp Faouar and were all affected by this cost saving measure.

In view of the importance of troops being able to maintain regular contact with home and the vital role that families play in supporting personnel serving overseas serving and the contribution that they play in the success of the mission, representations were made, including by the Officer Commanding the 65th Infantry Group, to minimise the disruption for Irish personnel in so far as possible..

I am pleased to say that last week the UN confirmed that the decision to cut off electrical power for a number of hours every night has now been reversed and full internet services have therefore now been restored.