Irish Republic troops, currently serving in Cyprus with the United Nations peace-keeping force, are being withdrawn to take up a new peace-keeping role.
Irish Republic troops, currently serving in Cyprus with the United Nations peace-keeping force, are being withdrawn to take up a new peace-keeping role. They'll be used to strengthen Army patrols along the Republic's troubled border with Northern Ireland.
The plan for the withdrawals was announced this week after considerable pressure on the Republic's Prime Minister, Mr. Jack Lynch, to strengthen border patrols. There are nearly 400 Irish troops serving in Cyprus helping to prevent any further outbreak of hostility between the Greek and Turkish communities on the island.
SYNOPSIS: Part of the United Nations peace-keeping force in Cyprus is formed by a unit of soldiers from the Irish Republic. They've been based here at Kophinou, near a Turkish Cypriot village on the main road to Limasol. But they are shortly to be withdrawn to start peace-keeping duties in another trouble spot -- Ireland.
There are about four-hundred Irish soldiers in Cyprus. And as yet it has not been announced how many of them will be withdrawn. But the authorities in the Irish Republic have been under pressure from the British and Northern Ireland governments to strengthen army patrols along the border dividing the northern and southern Irish states.
So this is likely to be the last Christmas many of the Irish soldiers spend keeping the peace between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot: communities. Their task is soon likely to involve them in helping to prevent supplies and arms being smuggled across the border into Northern Iteland.