Connect Dec 2015

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december 2015 Vol 19 Issue 4 Defence Forces Newsletter READ MORE Message from the President A s Supreme Com- mander of Óglaigh na Éire- ann I would like to extend the warm- est of seasons greetings to each and every mem- ber of the Defence Forces and their families at this special time. Many of you will be on duty over Christmas, some at home and oth- ers abroad. The sacrifice you make as you are separated, during this festive season, from your families and loved ones is greatly appreciated. I thank you, on behalf of the Irish people for your generous commitment to the cause of peace and security. Throughout 2015, our Defence Forces contin- ued to make us proud as they carried out their duties with skill, courage and great dedication. This year, we witnessed the unfolding of a great humanitarian crisis as an unprecedented number of refugees from war-torn Syria, Iraq and Africa risked their lives in search of sanctuary in Europe. I would like to pay tribute to all the crew members of our Irish naval vessels, who played such a critical and invaluable role in the humani- tarian search and rescue operations, saving the lives of many men, women and children. 2015 marked my first visit as President to an Irish peacekeeping contingent abroad, when I met with the 47th Infantry Group in Lebanon. It was a valuable opportunity to witness the professionalism and commitment to peace and international security that lies at the core of all your work as peacekeepers. As always, our Defence Forces played an im- portant role in many ceremonial events across the country, including State Visits to Áras an Úachtaráin, bringing to each a distinction and dignity which made me, as Úachtaráin na h'Éireann, very proud. I would like to conclude by thanking and commending each and every one of you for the valuable contribution you make to the cause of peace and justice across the globe. On behalf of the people of Ireland may I wish you and your families a very happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year. Contents Christmas Messages Sudoku competition Events

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