Watch: Minister for Defence reviews troops bound for Syria at Stephens Barracks in Kilkenny

The Minister for Defence, Simon Coveney TD has reviewed the 65th Infantry Group in Kilkenny today.

The troops will shortly deploy to the Golan Heights as part of the United Nations’ Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF).

The Minister was accompanied by the Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces, Lieutenant General Sean Clancy, and the Secretary General of the Department of Defence, Jacqui McCrum.

Addressing the 130-strong contingent in Stephens’ Barracks in Kilkenny, Minister Coveney said “you are heading off to keep peace in a part of the world that has known its share of conflict at a time when millions of innocent Ukrainians are fleeing from an illegal and immoral invasion.”

He warmly welcomed the families of those preparing to deploy, who, following the lifting of Covid restrictions, were able to attend today’s review.


The Minister also officially opened a new Gym and Sports facility at the local Barracks.

At a cost of some €3.3m, the Minister said the new facility represents a significant investment in built infrastructure for the benefit of the Defence Organisation:

“This Gymnasium is the first of two such facilities to be completed as part of the 5 year Defence Forces Infrastructure Development Plan, the other being at Sarsfield Barracks Limerick which was completed last summer at an estimated cost of €3m”.