In 2016, the Defence Forces’ Captain Eoghan Carton project-managed the changeover of combat engineering, infrastructure and utilities support for the Irish-Finnish Joint Battalion in Lebanon.
Captain Carton won Engineers Ireland’s 2017 Chartered Engineer of the Year Award in November 2017 for the project: 'Lead Nation Changeover 2016: The changeover of combat engineering, infrastructure and utilities support from Finland to Ireland in UNIFIL'.
UNIFIL is the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon and was first deployed in March 1978. The Irish Defence Forces have been deployed in three separate deployments to UNIFIL over the past 40 years. This particular deployment began in 2011 and has continued unbroken since then. "Working closely with the Finnish forces is very important for our inter-operability and both sides can learn from each other,” says Carton.
UNIFIL is tasked with achieving the following objectives:
• Confirm the withdrawal of Israeli forces from southern Lebanon
• Restore international peace and security
• Assist the government of Lebanon in ensuring the return of its effective authority in the area
The Irish Army has suffered 47 fatalites through various deployments. UNIFIL maintains the cessation of hostilities and stability in areas along the Blue Line between Israel and Lebanon. The organisation occupies various camps and outposts along the whole length of the Blue Line, several of which are occupied by the Irish-Finnish Battalion.