Stanton, David

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Joint Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality Debate

VFM Review of Reserve Defence Force: Discussion with Minister for Defence and RDFRA (Continued)

As we have a quorum we can commence the meeting. Apologies have been received from Deputy Anne Ferris for part of the meeting, Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn and Senator Denis O'Donovan. I thank th...More Button

You are most welcome.More Button

I thank the Minister. Does anybody have a question for the Minister?More Button

The Deputy should be aware that the way this committee operates is that we ask a question and we get an answer. It is a question and answer process.More Button

It is far more effective. I invite the Minister to reply to the question about the steering committee.More Button

Can we please get back to questions?More Button

I would appreciate if the Deputy could please deal with questions on the matter of concern this morning.More Button

Could we get back to the questions?More Button

Could we-----More Button

Sorry, Minister-----More Button

If we could focus on the questions and answers and leave it at that, I would much appreciate it.More Button

Please.More Button

If we could focus on the questions and answers, it would make it more beneficial.More Button

Fair enough.More Button

If we could focus-----More Button

Comments through the Chair, please, if members do not mind.More Button

I will have to suspend the meeting if they do not. We need to have questions and answers. That is what I would ask of the Minister and the Deputy.More Button

If Deputy Ó Cuív does not mind, through the Chair, he has asked a number of questions already. I invite the Minister to answer those questions as succinctly and precisely as he can and then we wil...More Button

Of course.More Button

No - when we get the answers to the questions Deputy Ó Cuív asked already.More Button

Yes.More Button

Could I interrupt the Minister for a moment? He will not mind if I intervene. I am anxious that we get more questions from members here. The members could read that and we can refer them to it b...More Button

Through the Chair.More Button

I ask the Minister to allow Deputy Mac Lochlainn ask his questions.More Button

Just one more question.More Button

We might even revisit some of the training camps, as we did last Thursday in the Glen of Imaal.More Button

I should declare an interest to the Minister, as I have done a lot of that in the past.More Button

I have one or two questions on this subject. Was a study undertaken on the reason so few of the 4,554 personnel actually got involved in training? What was the reason they did not actually train?...More Button

I asked the reason so few of the effective----More Button

There always was a non-effective strength as well within the RDF. What was that non-effective strength before the reorganisation? Does the Minister have such figures to hand? Will this non-effec...More Button

I welcome that and believe the single force concept is the option to take because the RDF must be far more professional. This leads to the question of members of the RDF eventually serving oversea...More Button

I thank the Minister. I have one or two more questions if he does not mind. I have a special interest in this area. Could he give an indication of the level of recruitment he envisages for the R...More Button

The Minister referred to conversion training in his statement. Could he outline what that means?More Button

The role and use of the RDF has been mentioned by a number of speakers, including the Minister. In the past one of the criticisms has been that it was not used for anything - that it trained but n...More Button

As a committee we visited the emergency preparation room in the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. We were highly impressed with what we saw. As the Minister outlined, there is an op...More Button

  Sitting suspended at 10.35 a.m. and resumed at 2 p.m.More Button

I welcome the representatives of the RDFRA. I draw the witnesses’ attention to the rules of privilege. You are protected by absolute privilege in respect of the evidence you are about to give to ...More Button

I invite Mr. Martin Cooney to begin.More Button

We would be interested in engaging with the association if it has other suggestions at a not-too-far-away date.More Button

Who wants to take those questions?More Button

Has anybody else got a question?More Button

This is how it was in the past. What will the requirements be now with regard to seven or 14 days training? I know the gratuity is gone, but will people still have to turn up for these training s...More Button

What will be the role of the Naval Service Reserve after the reorganisation?More Button

The Civil Defence costs less than the reserve but the numbers are on a par. Why is this?More Button

I note from the review that the RDF cannot perform armed duties in aid to the civil power. Will the witnesses please comment? Is there a restriction on performing armed duties in aid to the civil...More Button

Did Mr. Mulley say that the matter is being examined?More Button

Did Mr. Mulley say that the RDF cannot be called out under law at the moment?More Button

Have security duties been discontinued?More Button

According to the value for money report it had something to do with a 24-hour commitment.More Button

The delegation has made interesting points on specialists such as doctors, electricians and so on who may have skills that would be of use to the military when it does not have them itself. That i...More Button

Can Mr. Mulley comment on the single force structure proposed in the VFM report? Is that going to be an advantage or a disadvantage? Is it something he welcomes?More Button

We can recommend to the Minister to have a look at it. It would be a simple enough operation to do.More Button

The committee can reflect on that and discuss it and see what we decide.More Button

Deputy Ó Fearghaíl correctly pointed out that part of the problem over the years has been to identify the ongoing operational requirements of the force. That is still a difficulty. The witnesses ...More Button

Officially.More Button

There are areas on which the witnesses can come back to us.More Button

If they could come back to us on those specific areas, because it is not mentioned here, that would be quite welcome.More Button

I thank the witnesses for their attendance and their interesting contributions on this important matter. I can assure them that the debate will be ongoing.More Button

The joint committee went into private session at 3 p.m. and adjourned at 3.10 p.m. until 2 p.m. on Wednesday, 1 May 2013. More Button