Ballinlough native Lieutenant Colonel Mary Carroll will shortly lead the 54th Infantry Group for service with the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) on the Golan Heights.
Picture Credit: The Defence Forces
In doing so she will become first woman to have held the prestigious appointment of Officer Commanding an Irish Defence Forces contingent on an overseas mission. Speaking at yesterday’s review of the troops in Galway the Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Mr. Paul Kehoe, T.D congratulated Lieutenant Colonel Mary Carroll on her achievement.
The Minister went on to say “I recently attended a UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial in London where one of the main issues discussed was improving peacekeeping, including increasing the involvement of women at all levels in overseas missions. One of the key messages coming from that conference is that increasing the participation of women at all levels in overseas deployments, is key to sustainable peacekeeping operations. Moreover, the engagement of, and with, women contributes effectively to peacekeeping and conflict resolution initiatives.”
In concluding the Minister said, “Finally, I want to wish each and every member of the 54th Infantry Group, under the leadership of Lieutenant Colonel Mary Carroll, a safe and successful mission. You are travelling to the UNDOF mission with my best wishes and with those of the rest of the nation.”
Lieutenant Colonel Mary Carroll first joined the Irish Defence Forces in 1982 and rose through the ranks.
The 54th Infantry Group will be the seventh Irish Defence Forces peacekeeping contingent to deploy to the Golan Heights. Drawn from different units across the Army and Air Corps the majority of the Group’s personnel are drawn from the 1st Infantry Battalion, Galway.