United Nations Interim Force Lebanon
May 1978 to Date
Following the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1978, UNIFIL was established to supervise the withdrawal of Israeli forces and restore peace and security to the area. Since then the Defence Forces had an infantry battalion (approx. strength 540 personnel) in Lebanon, which rotated every six months plus almost 100 others in UNIFIL headquarters and the Force Mobile Reserve until November 2001.
The battalion's headquarters was located in Tibnin and it was responsible for an area of approx. 100 square kilometres. It performed its duties mainly by providing a presence in the area, by operating patrols, checkpoints and manning observation posts. The battalion also rendered humanitarian assistance to the local population including aiding the local orphanage in Tibnin.
The presence of the Irish battalion in South Lebanon undoubtedly helped to restore certain normality to the area, as evidenced by the increase in population and economic activity in the region.