The Curragh, County Kildare

The 56th Infantry Group completed the first week of their ‘mission readiness exercise’ in preparation for their forthcoming deployment to the United Nations Disengagement Observation Force (UNDOF) in the Golan Heights in October.

Eamonn writes:

This phase of training is a culmination of three months of intensive preparation for deployment overseas. The Mission Readiness Exercise puts commanders and soldiers through a series of demanding scenarios based on potential threats that may be encountered in the mission area.

Troops secured, extracted and evacuated personnel involved in a complex scenario. The 56th Infantry Group will rotate into the mission area under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Dermot Hanifin. They have a wide range of capabilities including Armoured Force Protection, Patrolling and Mobility, Communications, Medical and Operational Expertise.


Defence Forces /

74 thoughts on “Ready Or Not

  1. I.P.

    What a waste of resources.

    County with the population of Manchester with its own Army.


    *checks homeless figures* *checks hospital waiting list* *checks all Oirish things being Oirish*

    1. Mysterybeat

      Ah yeah, sure of course it’s a waste. We should just stick all the money from the defence forces into whatever the latest news crisis is, and that will magically solve it.
      Other small countries manage to have armed forces AND not have gazillions of homeless people you know. It’s called sound economic management. Unfortunately Irish politicians and civil servants wouldnt know it if it hit them on the head.

      1. I.P.

        Military in the family?

        It’s ok to not have a needless military sucking up much needed funds.

        It’s simple.

        A tiny country has no need of a military force. No matter what hills in Israel need lads with binoculars on.

        It’s ok. We can do better than aspiring to our militaristic neighbour.

        1. Rob_G

          FFS – not so many years ago there was a well-organised terrorist group who wanted to delegitimise this state operating within the borders of this state. There are still paramilitary murders every year or so; Ireland’s (small) army is very necessary.

          1. Clampers Outside!

            Let’s not bother doing our bit for the EU and piggy back off of their army. Sure nothing is happening on European soil or near its borders…. flowers down the gun sights for everyone, yay!

          2. Brother Barnabas

            Ireland spent 0.32% of GDP on defense in 2016.

            Iceland spent 0.56% of GDP on defense in 2017.

            So what’s your point, dopey?

          3. I.P.

            They don’t have an army.

            Defense doesn’t mean army. Dopey.

            Britain has bred us to care about guns and uniforms.

            Sad really.

          4. Rob_G

            Iceland is tiny country that managed to defeat the United Kingdom in a war due to its aggressive and robust defence policy, so it was probably not a good country to use to support your point.

          5. I.P.

            They don’t have a standing army and I think Ireland shouldn’t either.

            We can’t afford one. Funnel that wasted money into a better police force. Coastguard. Intelligence unit.

            And any cents left over stop people dying on waiting lists or in tents or in rivers…

          6. Clampers Outside!

            You skipped the bit where they spend the money, and more than us, on defence.
            So we give up the army, and spend even more money on defence and equipment instead of feet on the ground, is that it? If not, plse stop using Iceland as an example, yeah?

          7. I.P.

            Fair enough. I withdraw all my comments. Let’s keep pouring money into our very crucial army. It’s very important. Obviously.

          8. badatmemes


            I’m with you.
            We see the wider picture
            Economics will see us through… These other eejits understand less than they think they know.

          9. Yep

            I.P, your argument doesn’t seem very well thought out. I kind of get what you are saying but if it just goes as far as tear it down and use resources elsewhere you’re not really giving enough credence to the usefulness and benefits of having one.

          10. badatmemes

            In the early (current) term we are neutral.
            In the aftermath we are a food-producer.

            How can we lose?

          11. badatmemes

            In all seriousness, Ireland is the best country to be living in and you know it.
            Our government is poo, they keep me up all night,..

            …but get a grip. Their grip is always tenuous.
            Throw away your trainers. Buy a pair of BOOTS.

  2. Gabby

    Ireland is an active member of the United Nations and since the Congo operation in 1961 has sent members of the defence forces to assist in the implementation of UN ideals. More than 100 peacekeepers have died on active duty. Gardai have also been involved in UN security for the transition to democratic sovereignty of territories formerly under colonial rule.

      1. Yep

        Tens of thousands of people have benefited greatly from serving in our Defense Forces. Many more like myself feel a little pride (unwarranted I will admit) in the UN operations they have been part of over the years.

          1. Clampers Outside!

            So… we should pay someone else to do it, how much do you think?

            We have no “war” here so fupp the rest of the world and it’s troubles. You’re soooo cool and hippy man.

          2. I.P.

            You are a clown. And can’t see beyond tradition. We don’t need an army. We can’t afford an army. And saying so doesn’t make me a “hippy”.

          3. shitferbrains

            So. Ireland has a tax take of 30 billion of which the DF get approx one billion. Your logic is that because we can’t run a national health service on the remaining 29 billion, the DF should be disbanded ? The reason we don’t have a functioning health service is because of the lingering detritus of conservative Roman Catholic social theory, not the DF.

  3. Truth in the News

    They had at least 2 cow engagements, which was an embarrassment, all the
    overseas adventures since 1961 are nothing but a waste of money and lives
    Has anybody from Israel offered to protect and defend our borders or seas
    We need the Swiss military model here and they don’t send their Defense Forces all
    over the place, and not to Golan Heights propping Israel, how come there is no
    identical UN effort to protect the Palestinians from the Israelis.
    We also buy a mass of military equipment that can be made at home and rather oddly quite
    an amount from Israel.

  4. badatmemes

    This thread is almost enough to make you revoke your passport.
    I’m beginning to believe the Christian Brothers were right. At least we were educated enough to see what wasn’t spelt out and obvious.

    This generation
    Sells the nation…

    So bong, bong, diddly, diddly, diddly bong… I say…

  5. badatmemes

    That old phrase comes to mind…
    ”You aren’t allowed to kill them and ýou aren’t allowed to kill them.”*

    *That’s a joke. If you didn’t get it you are the joke.

  6. I.P.

    Anyway, after all that noncesense.

    A country of Ireland’s size does not need a standing army. We can’t afford one.

    That’s a fact. It mightn’t be one people agree with but it’s a fact. And facts is facts.

    1. Harry Molloy

      maybe it is a nice to have, rather than a need to have.

      there hasn’t however been any real movement or push to dismantle it though. and there is still a good argument that it is very much need to have also, given some of those who would call themselves Republicans.

      1. I.P.

        A standing army of over 9,000 people are a drain on a country with a population of Manchester. A standing army in Ireland is trained to defend against attack. That’s their supposed role. UN and standing on Israeli hills is for a tan and medals.

        People talking about the IRA and what I’m talking about are conflating the issue. A standing army of 9,000 is not needed to tackle a non existent boogie man. Defense force doesn’t have to mean full time, over paid and under resourced. A well trained and equipped police and reserve force can tackle any problem on an island of 5 million.

        If you can’t see that you are delusion. And I can’t help you.

        We don’t need a full time standing army in this country. We have never needed a full time standing armed in this country. And we will never need a full time standing army in this country.

        1. Harry Molloy

          no need to be nasty, I’m not that invested in it either way.

          your position is valid, and we live in a democracy, you should start a lobby group if you feel that strongly. I think myself that most people wouldn’t agree with you and that they like having that branch of state, and are especially proud of their peace keeping roles, which is us giving back to the human community. it’s not all about ourselves all the time, Irish people like giving. but I could be wrong on that, the only way to really know is to make it an issue for public debate.

        2. Praetorian

          I laughed at your ill informed and pig ignorant drivel posts earlier…but your tan and medals comment is absolutely disgusting…i served three tours in Lebanon…i lost friends and commrades in the service of peace representing this country.
          I also seved in Somalia and Kosovo.
          The Naval service on humanatarian service in the Med is a huge credit to this island…the Air Corps air ambulance service has also helped saved the life of countless children over the years…
          The two missing crewman from R116 are ex soldiers who at one stage stood getting a tan and a medal in Lebanon before going on to become winchmen in the Air Corps to again protect human life…maybe even your wretched existence some day…
          This country has provided some very brave people through the Defence Forces over the years…
          but unfortunatley it also gave us you…fuppin fool.

          1. I.P.

            My original point still stands. A tiny island with a population of 5 million has no need of a standing army of 9000.

            Nowhere did I state that we don’t need an air corps or coastguard or air ambulance. That has nothing to do with my standing army argument.

            Being a professional soldier makes you biased. Obviously.

            It’s fairly straight forward, a tiny bankrupt island of 5 million people cannot afford a standing army of 9000.

            That’s a fact.

            Homeless people are dying on our streets. Homeless figures are rising. Hospital waiting lists are killing people.

            A standing army of 9000 is a luxury we literally cannot afford.

          2. Praetorian

            Carry on with your ill informed drivil but show some level of respect…retract your disgusting ‘getting a tan and medals’ comment.

    2. Yep

      It is NOT a fact. You have a vague understanding of what a fact is, IP. I have a sense you are taking the proverbial at this point.

      You dismantle the DF and what happens now to the ten thousand members? MAYBE 2 thousand stay on to help with the deconstruction for a limited time. 500 stay on as figureheads.

      I have quiet a few friends who work in and around this branch and it is so far from the GGRRRR you seem to think it is. People sign up in their early twenties and come out approaching thirty qualified in engineering, communications, tech, cookery….I think that’s a word.

      I’m all for a discussion on it but this Peace not War or we simply can’t afford to train and educate citizens is nonsense without some sort of plan regarding the aftermath of it being dismantled.

      Throw them into the Guards? Buy more crazy expensive boats to police our waters? Train them as nurses/doctors?

      1. I.P.

        So, wasting money on lads shooting expensive ordinance into hills and diesel on trips to walk around the country side to train for an enemy they will never fight. That’s all ok?


        I’m wrong.

        We need a standing army of 9,000 people.

        1. Yep

          I am not saying you are wrong or I am right. I am presenting an argument against your proposal of dismantling the whole thing. You have come back with snark and pretension.

          WE can’t afford it. Do you have any idea how much EU funding is involved? Our obligations because of it? Do you understand what Brexit means for our DF if the UK leaves and paves the way for an EU army?

          I also kinda know many people who have got a step up by being a member of our DF and went on to be of incredible benefit to Irish society as whole because of it.

          “We need a standing army of 9,000 people.” I don’t know if that is true. Do you actually know? Sarcasm aside.

  7. badatmemes

    Hang on…
    I actually AM on the wrong thread.
    I’m so embarrassed.

    Hang on, Im going to misspell a simple wrd. You people need anglels to triangulate from

    1. Clampers Outside!

      Iceland, Norway and Switzerland are not full members of the EU, and don’t have the commitment required that we do. You keep using Iceland and Switzerland as examples of what we should mimic.

      Are you proposing we leave the EU to mirror Iceland and Switzerland”s situation seeing as you keep referring to them as some sort of great example (not sure on Norway currently) .

      So, do you want us to leave the EU, is that it? And then dismantle the army…. will their be benefits of leaving/downgrading membership.
      I look forward to your explanation IP

      1. I.P.

        Army good. Money bad. Army better than paying for essential services. Army go pretend bang bang abroad.

        Very important.

        Army man super special.

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