A former head of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon and long time participant in Irish Army UN peacekeeping operations Major General Michael Beary has been presented with the Distinguished Service Medal by the Irish government.
During the ceremony at Cathal Brugha barracks at Rathmines, Dublin at which the Irish Defence Minister Paul Kehoe presented the award the United Nations paid tribute to Major General Beary. A message from Under Secretary General for Peacekeeping, Jean Pierre Lacroix, was read which stated:
“ The United Nations and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations were privileged to have Major General Michael Beary at the leadership of UNIFIL. His exemplary dedication and integrity during his tenure as the Head of Mission and Force Commander were integral to the achievements accomplished by the Mission. His strong leadership, commitment to core peacekeeping values and principles and pro-active approach enabled UNIFIL to carry out its important mandate during a particularly challenging period…. ”
The United Nations also conveyed its gratitude to Major General Beary, the Government of Ireland and the Irish Defence Forces for:
“their unwavering commitment and support to United Nations peacekeeping.”
Minister Kehoe said “.. this award is for distinguished service characterised by outstanding qualities of leadership, diplomacy and devotion to duty. These qualities have been best demonstrated by you in your role as Head of Mission and Force Commander of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and as Force Commander in the European Union Training Mission in Somalia.”
Minister Kehoe went on to say:
“Your distinguished service, in these appointments, has made a significant contribution to regional stability and world peace and enhanced the reputation of Ireland and its Defence Forces.”
Irish Defence Forces have been involved in UN peacekeeping globally since the first deployments in the Congo in the 1960s and have served in Lebanon since the first deployment forty years ago in 1978.
Image: Major General Beary inspects French troops of the UNIFIL force in August 2016 who at that time occupied the role of Force Reserve Contingent.
Celtic League Military Monitoring