Irish delegation visit troops in Golan Heights
May 19, 2014 - On 13 May 2014, an Irish delegation comprising of Brigadier General Diarmuid Fitzgerald (General Officer Commanding (GOC) 1 Brigade), Colonel Philip Brennan (Director of Operations), Colonel Jim Burns (Director of Training), Commandant John Griffin (Staff Officer, Director of Operations) and Captain Danielle Buckley (Personnel Support Officer to GOC, 1 Brigade) completed a two day visit to the 44 Infantry Group, IRECON Contingent, United Nations Disengagement Force (UNDOF) in Golan Heights.
The Irish delegation were welcomed at the Syrian Border by Lt.Col Paul Kennedy, Officer Commanding, 44 Inf Gp. Lt. Col Kennedy accompanied by Brig.Gen Fitzgerald and Colonel Brennan were then escorted to Damascus where they met with Brig.Gen Younes (Senior Syrian Arab Delegate). Following the meeting with SSAD the Irish delegation were escorted to Camp Faouar where Brig.Gen Fitzgerald was given an honour guard by members of the 44 Inf Gp. Having received a camp orientation brief the Irish delegation joined with members of the 44 Inf Gp for dinner.
During the visit the Irish delegation received various operational briefings including details of the current security situation in Golan from UNDOF FHQ Staff Officers and Lt. Col Kennedy, OC 44 Inf Gp. They had the opportunity to visit UN OPs 72 and 71 and to overview the northern zone of the UNDOF AOR.
In his address to members of the 44 Inf Gp, Brig.Gen Fitzgerald said that he was pleased to observe that the IRECON contingent’s esprit de corps and morale were very high and that as Commanding Officer of 1 Brigade he was proud of the solid and continued contribution by members of the 44 Inf Gp to UNDOF.
Brig.Gen Fitzgerald also met with the Force Commander and made a presentation on behalf of the Irish Defence Forces.