Dáil Éireann - Volume 367 - 04 June, 1986
Written Answers. - Irish Citizens in the Lebanon.
Mr. Wallace Mr. Wallace
17. Mr. Wallace asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he will make a statement on the position with regard to the safety of Irish civilians in the Lebanon.
Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. P. Barry) Peter Barry
Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. P. Barry): Parts of the Lebanon are subject to continuing violence. Irish citizens who have decided to remain in the Lebanon have been advised to take all prudent precautions to reduce their exposure to the risks involved in such a situation, for example by avoiding travel in areas most at risk.
In particular, following the worsening situation in West Beirut, in recent months, the Irish Embassy advised Irish citizens in April of the risks to which they were exposing themselves by staying in West Beirut. The Embassy also advised them of an opportunity of leaving West Beirut, and helped those who wished to leave to do so. I understand that about seven Irish citizens left West Beirut at  that time, and that only about five remain.
An Irish citizen, Brian Keenan, disappeared on 11 April in West Beirut. The Irish Embassy immediately went to the place where he was last seen. They began at once a long series of contacts with local representatives and others who might be able to help. In spite of all our continuous efforts and contacts and the assistance and support of a number of parties in the area, we have so far not been able to establish the whereabouts of Mr. Keenan. We are continuing our efforts. I myself have been in contact with certain parties in the area, and my colleague, the Minister for Defence, Deputy Paddy O'Toole, availed of his visit to Irish troops in the Lebanon to make further contacts there in this case.
Dáil Éireann 367 Written Answers. Irish Citizens in the Lebanon.