Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Defence, Seán Crowe TD, has again raised his concerns around the safety of Irish troops stationed with the UN in Lebanon after the death of Spanish peacekeeper recently.
During Parliamentary Questions to the Minister for Defence he also raised the case of Mahmoud Bazzi, the Lebanese national accused of murdering of Privates Thomas Barrett and Derek Smallhorne, and the attempted murder of Private John O’Mahony, who were Irish peacekeepers deployed with the UN in Lebanon.
Deputy Seán Crowe said:
“Mahmoud Bazzi, the main suspect in the murders of Privates Barrett and Smallhorne, and the attempted murder of Private O’ Mahony, has now been deported from the US back to Lebanon and has been detained by the Lebanese authorities.
“The families of Privates Barrett, Smallhorne, and O Mahony have been campaigning for justice for 34 years, and it is important that they get it.
“Members of the Oireachtas have expressed sympathy and support for these families and I welcome the Minister’s commitment to this case. I called on the Department to ensure that the families and Oireachtas members were kept up to date on developments in the case.”
Deputy Crowe continued:
“Ireland currently has 210 troops deployed with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).
“A Spanish peacekeeper with UNFIL was killed on the Israeli-Lebanon broder, reportedly by Israeli artillery shells, 3 weeks ago.
“I raised my concerns for the safety of Irish troops in the region and with UNIFIL and called on the Minister to ensure that their safety is the paramount concern of the Government and his Department.”