Sun, 10 Dec 2023

DUBLIN, Ireland The deployment of Irish special forces soldiers to Ukraine has been postponed due to uncertainty regarding the legality of sending troops abroad on protection missions.

A bill is being drafted to clarify the law and allow a team of Army Ranger Wing (ARW) personnel to deploy to protect Irish Embassy staff in Kyiv. The Irish Embassy in the city reopened in August, six months after its staff was evacuated due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Irish Ambassador Thrse Healy is believed to be one of the only EU ambassadors in the country without a close protection team, causing significant concern among Department of Foreign Affairs officials. The plan is to send a small, armed "close protection team" of elite troops to Kyiv to protect Ms. Healy and her staff.

Last year, the Department of Defense received a request for a close protection team. However, this has been delayed because the department believes that the Defence (Amendment) Act 2006 does not explicitly permit the deployment of Defence Forces overseas on protection missions.

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