O'Dea, Willie

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 681 Nbr. 4


Priority Questions - Overseas Missions.

Was asked: if he is satisfied that Irish troops serving in Chad are receiving the logistical support required following the transfer of authority for the mission from the EU to the UN, with specific reference...More Button

On 15 March 2009, MINURCAT, the United Nation’s-led mission in Chad and the Central African Republic, assumed operational control of the UN force of 2,085 personnel, including 1,877 troops re...More Button

In the eight short weeks or so since MINURCAT took over the force, the mission has faced a number of challenges — mainly force generation, a shortfall in helicopter assets and fuel shortages ...More Button

In addition, the UN has only received pledges for ten of the 18 military helicopters detailed in the force requirements. It has urged member states to meet the shortfalls in personnel and air asse...More Button

The fuel problems being encountered by MINURCAT are common to the whole of Chad, as there is a country-wide fuel crisis. The UN is fully exercised on the issue and all possible sources of fuel for...More Button

The situation continues to be monitored closely by the Defence Forces. I am satisfied that all necessary measures are being taken by the UN to address the various difficulties faced by the mission...More Button

It concerns me that there are shortfalls in the mission to date. As Deputy Deenihan is aware, MINURCAT has taken over since 15 March and there are some teething problems. To the best of my knowle...More Button

It is expected that the rationing will come to an end in approximately three weeks, but that is not to say there will not be future crises of that nature in Chad. We are on notice of that now. I ...More Button

As we will see in the reply to the next question, the restriction on playing sports has nothing whatsoever to do with the fuel crisis.More Button

We will come to that. I was merely responding to something Deputy Deenihan said.More Button

The troops are not confined to barracks. They are not able to engage in some routine patrols due to rationing of fuel. Fuel usage has been prioritised for life support systems in the camp such as...More Button

Was asked: the restrictions placed on Defence Forces personnel serving in Chad in terms of sporting activities in which they are permitted to engage; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

In exercising his statutory duty of care to his troops, the Irish commander of the 99th infantry battalion deployed with the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad, MINURCA...More Button

It was the commander’s assessment that the risk of hospitalisation or permanent repatriation of personnel due to sports injuries was not acceptable to him as all personnel are required for op...More Button

There are a number of issues in the Deputy’s statement. I do not know whether this restriction is being imposed on other missions, but I can find out for him. The force commander has a resp...More Button

The force commander is the person in place on the ground. He knows what is more likely to endanger health and safety and what is likely to do so. The force commander imposes these detailed rules ...More Button

I believe 34 or 35 troops have been repatriated so far. The grounds on which they were repatriated are divided equally between medical grounds and humanitarian grounds. There was one case that di...More Button

I said 34 or 35.More Button

No, I meant 34 or 35 in total.More Button

While I do not believe health and safety should be the sole criterion in this regard, we cannot totally ignore it. As far as I am aware, one soldier suffered a serious injury as a result of engagi...More Button

The commander, the Government and I as Minister have a duty of care in terms of the health and safety of personnel. We are on notice that certain of these activities can result in serious personal...More Button

There is no suggestion that all sporting activity is banned. Personnel can engage in running and they have access to a first class gymnasium which includes such facilities as mats for engagement i...More Button

Priority Questions -

Was asked: if the Defence Force personnel serving in Chad beyond 15 March 2009 and returning to Ireland in May 2009 will be eligible for the award of a UN MINURCAT mission medal; and if he will make a stateme...More Button

Medals are awarded to members of the Defence Forces on the basis of various criteria, including length of service, service overseas and for acts of bravery associated with such service at home and ...More Button

In addition to the peacekeepers medal, a member who serves overseas may also be eligible for the award of a mission-specific medal by the international organisation responsible for the mission. Ac...More Button

The qualifying criterion for the award of a UN MINURCAT medal is at least 90 days service in the theatre. Consequently, personnel returning in May will not be eligible for the award of this medal....More Button

Personnel deployed to Chad beyond 15 March 2009 or, those personnel who were ineligible for an ESDP EUFOR service medal, will be eligible for the award of a UN MINURCAT mission medal provided they ...More Button

I understand that people who served 30 days and moved from the EUFOR mission straight into the MINURCAT mission will be entitled to an ESDP medal. The question is whether they will have served suf...More Button

We will be talking to the representative associations about the matter. Some people may be entitled to the ESDP medal but fall just short of the service required for the MINURCAT medal. Some peop...More Button

Priority Questions - Defence Forces Equipment.

Was asked: the way the saving of 48% will be achieved in Air Corps equipment and expenses in 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The reduction in the provision for the Air Corps this year should be seen in the context of the very significant investment in new equipment for the Air Corps in recent years. This comprehensive i...More Button

There is no provision in this year’s Air Corps subhead for the purchase of aircraft. The AW139 helicopter programme and the CASA upgrade were both finalised in 2008 and this accounts for the...More Button

3 o’clockMore Button

My understanding is that the 4% relates to a reduction in the payroll. No submissions or representations have been made to me to the effect that our lack of fighter aircraft interferes with traini...More Button

As the Deputy may know, we stopped recruiting in late 2008. When people retire, they will not be replaced. Generally speaking, this is how we will proceed.More Button

At the moment.More Button

I will get the exact figure for the Deputy, but the Air Corps is close to its authorised maximum figure.More Button

Priority Questions - Defence Forces Strength.

Was asked: the implications of the moratorium on promotions and recruitment in the Defence Forces for the capability of the organisation to fulfil its role in aid to the civil power and its overseas commitmen...More Button

The recent Government decision on savings measures on public service numbers is being implemented in the Defence Forces. The implications of the decision are under consideration by my officials in...More Button

I am advised that the Defence Forces retain the capacity to undertake the tasks laid down by the Government at home and overseas. The Defence Forces have improved in every respect since 2000 throu...More Button

The economic reality is such that the Government decision must be implemented. It can be anticipated that further flexibility and restructuring will be required arising from the implementation of ...More Button

There were a number of points. I understand the Deputy’s comments on promotion. A question arises as to whether people who have gone through most of the promotional process, up to and inclu...More Button

No cadet intake is planned for this year——More Button

——as matters stand. While Deputy Deenihan is aware there has been a cadet intake into the Army every year since the early 1980s, there is a recruitment embargo at present. Incidentall...More Button

The House will be aware that I can discuss such matters with the Minister for Finance and seek appropriate exemptions. My commitment as Minister for Defence is to maintain the operational capacity...More Button

I stated in my initial reply that I am quite satisfied and will ensure in my talks with the Department of Finance that the capacity of the Army to do its job, both as an aid to the civil power and ...More Button

For the present.More Button

Just a minute.More Button

Recruitment is suspended for the present, pending my talks with the Minister for Finance.More Button

As for the technical questions raised by Deputy Deenihan, these all are matters which are being discussed at present. I am discussing them with the representative organisations and the military au...More Button

I am not taking these measures happily in respect of recruitment. I am doing this because the Government must take a grip on public finances in Ireland. Deputy Deenihan’s party consistently...More Button

I reiterate I am satisfied the Army will be capable of doing its job both at home and overseas. As for recruitment, it has been suspended across all branches of the Army for the present. However,...More Button

Other Questions - Defence Forces Recruitment.

Was asked: if recruitment to the Reserve Defence Force and the Cadets has been suspended for 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Government introduced a moratorium on recruitment to the public service with effect from 27 March 2009. In this context and given the reduced budgetary provision available for 2009, all recrui...More Button

However, the implementation of the moratorium will require careful management. I have asked my officials, in consultation with the military authorities, to review all of the implications of the mo...More Button

I do not accept that morale is low in the Defence Forces. The Department of Defence has been very responsible in expenditure since the White Paper. It is probably the best behaved Department in t...More Button

Nevertheless, we are in difficult economic times and each Department must accept a certain amount of pain. Considering the figures, the Department is accepting less of the pain than others in reco...More Button

I am acutely aware of those who went through the process and were then told they cannot join the reserve. I am discussing this matter with the Department of Finance and my officials. I will make ...More Button

The difficulty is we have only a certain amount to pay people who engage in training.More Button

I understand that. My officials have a difficulty with the idea of a sort of two-tier reserve, with one group entitled to take up paid days while another group is excluded. That is one side of th...More Button

A saving, particularly as regards public expenditure, can sometimes consist of an accumulation of small savings. I imagine the amount is quite small but it is part of an overall pattern.More Button

I will get the figure for the Deputy. On the question regarding man days, just in excess of 81,000 man days were utilised last year and this year we have provision for 60,000 man days, according t...More Button

Other Questions - Military Uniforms.

Was asked: the arrangements in place regarding uniforms for female members of the Defence Forces during pregnancy; if a maternity wear uniform is available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

A maternity wear uniform was introduced into the Defence Forces in the middle part of the 1990s. The provision of this type of uniform has been an evolving process. There have been many design an...More Button

The Defence Forces clothing committee is tasked with the oversight and implementation in regard to all orders of military dress. In this connection, a working group was tasked with reporting on fe...More Button

Recommendations for changes to specifications, textiles and design will be incorporated into the final report of the working group. The Defence Forces meets or exceeds the best international milit...More Button

We must do everything to encourage more females to join the Defence Forces because at present, they make up just over 5% of the force. I agree with the Deputy on that point. However, female membe...More Button

I am aware that certain of the representative organisations have made representations to the effect that some female members of the Defence Forces would prefer to wear civilian clothes while they a...More Button

A great deal of work has been done on the design and specification of maternity uniforms for female members of the Defence Forces who are pregnant. Despite this, however, difficulties continue to ...More Button

I accept that it is not a question of people being on duty. I was merely making the point that the Defence Forces do not ignore the fact that people might be pregnant.More Button

I take the Deputy’s point that Defence Forces personnel want to feel as comfortable as possible. The uniform was last redesigned in the mid-1990s. If improvements can be made — and in...More Button

Other Questions - Naval Service Vessels.

Was asked: if he will ensure that a preventative maintenance manual will be developed for each vessel in the Naval Service as recommended in the value for money review of Naval Service vessel maintenance; and...More Button

Was asked: if he will establish a dedicated maintenance management team for Naval Service vessel maintenance as recommended in the value for money review of Naval Service vessel maintenance; and if he will ma...More Button

I propose to answer Questions Nos. 64 and 103 together.More Button

The value for money review of Naval Service vessel maintenance was recently completed and was laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas earlier this month. The review comprehensively examines all a...More Button

The recommendations to which the Deputy’s questions refer are but two of a range of such recommendations aimed at improving the maintenance function within the Naval Service. The recommended...More Button

The planned preventative maintenance manuals will contain a detailed list of maintenance activities on a ship-by-ship basis outlining the number of personnel required to complete each task, the nec...More Button

The review recommended the establishment of a dedicated maintenance management team. This team will complement and draw from the existing management structures and will provide high-level and cent...More Button

I am pleased that many of the issues highlighted by the steering committee in the review were already being addressed by the Naval Service and that many of the recommendations identified during the...More Button

I agree with the Deputy. The management team has already been put in place and work on the preventative maintenance manuals has already commenced. The value for money review highlighted a number ...More Button

Yes.More Button

The value for money review discovered there was a low incidence of unscheduled maintenance resulting in lost patrol days. However, it also discovered that the situation could be improved in two wa...More Button

I agree that the economic situation may impact on the replacement of naval vessels. To date, however, I have not received instructions to the effect that I should not proceed in this regard. A sy...More Button

I would appreciate all the assistance Deputy O’Shea can provide when I am discussing this matter with the Department of Finance. It is true that the older a vessel, the more difficult and ex...More Button

Other Questions - Departmental Properties.

Was asked: the action he has taken to expand the naval base at Haulbowline, County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Haulbowline Island comprises approximately 84 acres. The property is vested in the Minister for Finance. The Naval Service currently occupies approximately 40 acres and these lands are administer...More Button

The Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government has lead responsibility for the remediation of the Ispat site while the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment has responsib...More Button

My Department is also represented on the working group, under the aegis of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, concerning the future of the former Ispat site and will make its requi...More Button

I agree we need more territory. Deputy Stanton is correct about that. We have expressed our interest in acquiring more for the reasons he stated. I understand this matter will shortly become liv...More Button

It certainly will not be years. I am informed it will be very shortly. I will try to get a more precise timescale for the Deputy.More Button

Other Questions - Reserve Defence Force.

Was asked: the impact the moratorium on recruitment to the public service is having on the Reserve Defence Force; if he expects the numbers in the RDF to decline in 2009 and 2010; the discussions he is having...More Button

Was asked: his plans for the future of the Reserve Defence Force; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the reason he is not proceeding with plans to allow members of the Reserve Defence Force to serve overseas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if he is considering proposals for the disbandment of the Reserve Defence Force; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if there will be recruitment into the Reserve Defence Force during 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if he will confirm that the Reserve Defence Force is working effectively and efficiently; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if he will confirm that the phased enhancement of Reserve Defence Force capabilities provided for in the Reserve Defence Force review implementation plan will be completed. More Button

Was asked: if there will be recruitment to the Reserve Defence Force in 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 66, 69, 83, 84, 89, 97, 99 and 104 together.More Button

The Reserve Defence Force review implementation plan provides for the phased enhancement of the Reserve over the period from 2004 to the end of 2009. Significant progress has been made to date in ...More Button

As the Deputies will be aware, the Government has introduced a moratorium on recruitment to the public service with effect from 27 March 2009. As with the public service generally, the defence org...More Button

The moratorium and reduced budgetary provision have also prevented the recruitment of members of the Reserve to the Permanent Defence Force for the purpose of overseas service and this project has ...More Button

It is not possible at this time to predict the impact that the suspension of recruitment will have on the Reserve. The trend over recent years has shown a decline in applications for membership of...More Button

It is clear we are facing challenging times and the reduction in funding for 2009 has impacted on the Reserve as it has the broader defence organisation. However, there are no plans to disband the...More Button

Discussions are ongoing with the Reserve Defence Force Representative Association on a range of issues relating to the Reserve.More Button

As the Reserve Defence Force review implementation plan is reaching its conclusion, options for the future development of the Reserve will be considered. This will be informed by the lessons learn...More Button

Regarding Deputy Deenihan’s first question, the numbers in the Reserve on 31 March last were 7,513 personnel — 5,761 male and 1,752 female.More Button

I will communicate that to the Deputy. I do not have it to hand.More Button

It is something in that order, yes. We will communicate the figure to the Deputy.More Button

We are awaiting recommendations from the military authorities on how best to deal with the first line Reserve. Those recommendations have not come to hand as yet.More Button

Regarding the integrated Reserve and the initial results in terms of getting a particular group of the Reserve to integrate to allow them step in with the PDF in the event of a contingency, the pil...More Button

Overseas?More Button

It was abandoned because the relevant legislation provides that overseas service is confined to members of the Permanent Defence Force. The Reserve Defence Force members are not members of the Per...More Button

There are two obvious ways around this. The first is to change the legislation which is a rather tortuous process because there is much legislation backed up already. We will be changing the legi...More Button

The other way would be to get an exemption from the Department of Finance, as the Deputy suggested. As I stated, we are looking at various issues related to how the embargo impacts on the Defence ...More Button

The Deputy has asked many questions.More Button

On active and inactive members, it is impossible to give a precise answer to that.More Button

All I can say is that the reserve has been vigilant in recent years in removing inactive persons from the roll. Last year 4,321 reservists utilised 81,000 man-days in terms of paid training. The ...More Button

As near as I can, I will get the figures for Deputy Stanton.More Button

On the Deputy’s other point, I agree that the reserve is a useful outlet for persons who are interested in matters military. I do not know how many will resign between now and the end of the...More Button

The reasons for consistently recruiting have not disappeared. The embargo has interrupted those for the good reason that we must bring the public finances back into control.More Button

I can confirm that. That is my intention. There is no intention to disband the reserve.More Button

On the specific problem Deputy O’Connor mentioned, I already indicated to the House in reply to earlier questions that it is a matter I will take up. I have been discussing it with my offici...More Button

Written Answers follow Adjournment Debate.More Button

Leaders’ Questions.

The Deputy can make whatever he wants from talking at the doors.More Button

Where were those cuts to be implemented? It was all about a performance budget.More Button

He would not want to tell the whole story about the Deputy.More Button

That would be a first.More Button

Written Answers - Air Corps Operations.

Was asked: the number of air ambulance and other emergency missions flown by the Air Corps in 2007, 2008 and to date in 2009; the type of aircraft involved; the types of mission; and if he will make a stateme...More Button

The role of the Air Corps as set out in the White Paper on Defence is to provide a range of military and non-military services in support of the State. These services include the provision of an ai...More Button

Was asked: the number of hours flown by the Air Corps aircraft on all training and operational duties in 2008; the breakdown of these flying hours and the percentage of flying time spent on training, on air a...More Button

The role of the Air Corps as set out in the White Paper on Defence is to provide a range of military and non-military services in support of the State. These services include the provision of a 24 ...More Button

Air Corps Flying Hours 2008More Button

Written Answers - European Council Meetings.

Was asked: the details of the concept of the European military Erasmus initiative contained in a recent General Affairs and External Relations Council declaration; and if he will make a statement on the matte...More Button

The proposal to launch a European Military young officers exchange scheme, modelled on Erasmus, was one of the major initiatives of the French EU Presidency and was formally adopted by the Council ...More Button

This will be a voluntary initiative, with participating Member State academies bilaterally working out agreements. Ireland supports the initiative and feels that the concept of shared training cou...More Button

In order to advance this initiative, Member States have established an Implementation Working Group working under the aegis of European Security and Defence College (ESDC) Executive Academic Counci...More Button

There are also plans to develop Distance Learning (DL) and a common module on ESDP will be provided as standard in the curriculum. An important aspect of the initiative from Ireland’s perspec...More Button

Question No. 69 answered with Question No. 66.More Button

Written Answers - Army Barracks.

Was asked: if work will commence in 2009 on renovating and converting C House, Cathal Brugha Barracks, Dublin 6, to single officers’ quarters to alleviate the situation of officers forced to live in ste...More Button

In the first instance I must reject the suggestion that the officers in question are being housed in steel containers. The facilities provided to the officers are individual containerised accommod...More Button

In relation to the commencement of work on Block C in House in Cathal Brugha barracks, the position is unchanged since I last addressed the issue in response to question number 45 on the 10th March...More Button

As the Deputy will appreciate, in the current economic environment, capital expenditure projects must be subject to the most rigorous analysis. As I said previously in response to this issue, addi...More Button

Was asked: the cost per soldier of the moves associated with the closure of a number of Army barracks and property to date, since the announcement of the closure plans in budget 2009, including payments made ...More Button

Was asked: the costs incurred in the Army barracks closed to date in 2009 with a breakdown of the cost per barracks and per heading, including evacuation, moving, maintenance, travel, security and all other c...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 462 and 463 together.More Button

The cost arising from the barracks closures over 15 months, including the initial renovation works, is estimated at €3.2 million, against annual recurring savings of approximately €2.7mil...More Button

The evacuation and movement of personnel and equipment from the closed barracks to the new locations was completed using Defence Force transport assets and, as such, no substantive additional costs...More Button

In the medium term, based on current estimates, the total cost to the Department of closing the proposed barracks (including initial costs, allowances, transport, immediate works and capital works)...More Button

Question No. 464 answered with Question No. 76.More Button

Written Answers - Ministerial Meetings.

Was asked: the number of formal meetings he has had with the Permanent Defence Forces representative associations, RACO and PDFORRA, respectively, since first being appointed Minister for Defence; and if he w...More Button

I had several formal meetings with RACO and PDFORRA since my appointment as Minister for Defence. I have also attended the Delegate Conference of both associations. On taking this appointment I w...More Button

Written Answers - Naval Service Vessels.

Was asked: if he intends to proceed with plans for the replacement of the Asgard II with a new steel hulled vessel; if estimates are available as to the potential cost; when tenders will be sought; and...More Button

It is my intention to proceed with plans to replace Asgard II. In that regard, the Board of Coiste an Asgard has initiated planning for the procurement of a new steel hulled vessel similar in desig...More Button

Was asked: the position in regard to the refurbishment programme for the Creidne; if he will confirm that the vessel will be available in May 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The refurbishment programme on the Creidne for use as a sail training vessel by Coiste an Asgard is nearing completion. The work is being carried out by the Naval Service at the Naval Base, ...More Button

Was asked: the progress he expects to make during 2009 in regard to the acquisition by the Naval Service of modern new replacement vessels; if the plan will be delayed by the cuts in the funding for his Depar...More Button

Was asked: if agreement on funding and approval has been received to award a contract for the purchase of two offshore patrol vessels for the Naval Service; when a decision will be made on this matter; and if...More Button

Was asked: the expected timetable for the acquisition of three new vessels for the Naval Service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 87, 441 and 442 together.More Button

Following Government approval in July 2007, notice of a tender competition for the purchase of replacement vessels for the Naval Service was sent to the Official Journal of the European Union on 24...More Button

Following Stage 1 of the tender competition for the OPVs, Stage 2 of the competition commenced on the 12th September 2008 with the issue of an Invitation to Tender to the shipbuilders who had been ...More Button

Subject to Government approval on funding, it is expected that the new vessels will be delivered for acceptance by the Naval Service on a phased basis between 2011 and 2013. The expected timetable ...More Button

In the current difficult economic environment, it is important that we look to the efficiencies which all parts of the public sector can make so as to continue to deliver high quality public servic...More Button

The acquisition of these modern new vessels will ensure that the Naval Service will be fully equipped to carry out its day to day roles in enforcing the State’s sovereign rights over our wate...More Button

Was asked: if he will publish the contents of the survey he commissioned into the salvaging of the Asgard II; if he has received enquiries from interested parties to raise the vessel; and if he will ma...More Button

There were two underwater video surveys commissioned on Asgard II following her sinking on 11 September 2008. The initial survey, which was carried out between 26 and 29 September, revealed that th...More Button

Questions Nos. 441 and 442 answered with Question No. 87.More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Medical Corps.

Was asked: if he has received advice from the Chief of Staff or the director of the Defence Forces medical corps on the use of laser eye surgery; when the Defence Forces will introduce guidelines as to the su...More Button

The position is that there are a number of physical and medical standards laid down by the Military Authorities for entry to the Defence Forces. These requirements are based on the professional adv...More Button

The question of the suitability for military service of persons who have had laser surgery to correct their visual acuity is complex. It depends on a number of factors including the exact type of s...More Button

Written Answers - Overseas Missions.

Was asked: if members of the Defence Forces serving in Chad will be awarded a UN MINURCAT medal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if he will confirm that Irish troops serving with the UN in Chad may not qualify for UN medals for their tour of duty in view of the fact that they will fall 90 days short of the 400 required; if h...More Button

Was asked: the action being taken to ensure that all members of the Defence Forces who are serving or have served in Chad receive a United Nations medal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 74, 106 and 457 together.More Button

Medals are awarded to members of the Defence Forces on the basis of various criteria such as their length of service, for service overseas and for acts of bravery associated with such service both ...More Button

In addition to the Peacekeepers Medal, a member who serves overseas may also be eligible for the award of a mission-specific medal by the international organization responsible for the mission. Ac...More Button

Furthermore, owing to the importance placed on the award of medals and in order to preserve the sense of value and entitlement attached to same, it is policy that only one service medal is recognis...More Button

Was asked: if he is satisfied with the fixed and rotary wing air transport support that is available to the Irish battalion in Chad; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: his views on media reports that the UN peace support mission in Chad is at half strength and has insufficient helicopter [829]support; if Ireland may be asked to increas...More Button

Was asked: if he is satisfied with the level of back-up support being provided to Irish troops in Chad; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the concerns expressed by the UN’s assistant secretary for peacekeeping, Mr. Edmund Melet, that the UN operation in Chad has less than half the troops requi...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 78, 80, 92 and 110 together.More Button

On 15 March 2009, MINURCAT, the United Nation’s led mission in Chad and the Central African Republic assumed operational control of the United Nations force of 2,085 personnel, including 1,8...More Button

In his report last month to the United Nations Security Council on the MINURCAT mission, the Secretary-General indicated that the build-up of the force will be phased, with a period of consolidatio...More Button

There are currently eight (8) fixed wing aircraft and ten (10) Rotary aircraft assigned by the UN to the MINURCAT mission. There are three (3) fixed wing and six (6) rotary aircraft located in Ab&e...More Button

The detailed threat assessment and reconnaissance undertaken informs decisions regarding the configuration of the contingent and its armaments and protection. In the case of MINURCAT, as was the ca...More Button

The fuel problems being encountered by MINURCAT are common to the whole of Chad, as there is a country-wide fuel crisis. The UN is fully exercised on the issue and all possible sources of fuel for...More Button

Fuel conservation measures at Camp Ciara, where personnel of the Irish Battalion are based, are being constantly reviewed. While there has been some limitations on operations conducted by the Iris...More Button

Was asked: the expected number and location of overseas Defence Force deployments in the next 12 months, whether under the aegis of the UN, EU or joint operations; and if he will make a statement on the matte...More Button

Was asked: the number of Irish Troops serving on UN mandated missions; the location of those missions involving more than 12 Irish Defence Force personnel; the expected duration of these missions; if he expec...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 88 and 113 together.More Button

Ireland has offered, through the UN Standby Arrangements System (UNSAS), to provide up to 850 military personnel for overseas service at any one time. This figure equates to some 10% of Ireland&rsq...More Button

The main overseas missions, in which Defence Forces personnel are currently deployed, are the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT) with 421 personnel, the NATO...More Button

Following on from the General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC) meeting on 10 November 2008, the EU-led Operation “ALTHEA” in Bosnia and Herzegovina is expected to change from its cur...More Button

Members of the Permanent Defence Force Serving Overseas as of 01 May 2009More Button

Was asked: if the use of dietary and body building supplements by Defence Forces personnel in Chad has been prohibited by military authorities; if personnel were notified in advance of this prohibition; if th...More Button

I am advised by the Military authorities that the Director of the Defence Forces Medical Corps has recommended that all personnel should be discouraged from the use of dietary supplements/muscle bu...More Button

This recommendation stems from a routine search of baggage for personnel deploying to CHAD with the 99 Infantry Battalion earlier this year during which Military Police Personnel noted food supplem...More Button

Was asked: if a decision has been made as to the future participation by Ireland in the EUFOR mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina; if it is intended to keep Irish troops there; and if he will make a statement o...More Button

The EU operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina — Operation “Althea”— was established in December 2004, under the authority of UN Security Council Resolution 1575 of 22 November 2004, to rep...More Button

Following on from the General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC) meeting on 10 November 2008, which I attended, the EU-led Operation “ALTHEA” in Bosnia and Herzegovina is expected to...More Button

Was asked: if reports that Irish troops serving in Chad have been ordered not to play football or other sports due to the risk of injury and that troops are being served cold meals because fuel supplies are l...More Button

In exercising his statutory duty of care to his troops, the Irish Commander of the 99th Infantry Battalion deployed with the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCA...More Button

I might add that a wide range of sporting activities including unarmed combat skills, running and the use of a well equipped gymnasium is available to troops based in Camp Ciara. Any restrictions o...More Button

Was asked: the recent discussions he [980]has had in the context of European defence and security issues; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the extent to which he has had discussions with his EU and UN colleagues in the context of future overseas deployments of the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions 448 and 450 together.More Button

I regularly meet with my EU colleagues in the context of the European Security and Defence Policy. Two (2) meetings of EU Defence Ministers are held during each six (6) monthly EU Presidency. Th...More Button

I am also kept abreast of issues arising within UN from reports on meetings attended by officials from my Department and Military Representatives, especially in relation current and possible future...More Button

Written Answers - Military Medals.

Was asked: if his Department is still issuing certificates in lieu of lost or destroyed 1916 and War of Independence medals; the number issued in 2008 and to date in 2009; and if he will make a statement on t...More Button

The arrangement in question remains in place and my Department continues to issue Medal certificates signed by me in cases where the 1916 Medal or other War of Independence-related Medal has been l...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Reports.

Was asked: when the report of the consultants appointed to review the medical services of the Defence Forces will be published; if he will implement the recommendations of the report in 2009; and if he will m...More Button

Was asked: if he has received the report of the consultants appointed to review the operation of the Defence Forces’ medical services; when he proposes to publish the report; his views on same; and if h...More Button

Was asked: if the final report of the consultants appointed by his Department to review the medical services of the Defence Forces has been received by his Department; if not, when he expects the report to be...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 76, 102 and 464 together.More Button

The development of the Medical Corps forms part of the agreed programme for Government. I am committed to providing a sustainable medical service to meet the needs of the Defence Forces both at ho...More Button

I received the report from PA Consulting, last week and am currently reviewing it. Once I have had an opportunity to consider the recommendations, I intend to publish the report and engage with al...More Button

Was asked: the value for money and policy reviews to be undertaken by his Department in 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Government’s Value for Money and Policy Review Initiative is overseen by the Value for Money and Policy Review Central Steering Committee. Government Department’s are required to s...More Button

Question No. 113 answered with Question No. 88.More Button

Written Answers - Ombudsman for the Defence Forces.

Was asked: the number of cases submitted to the Office of the Ombudsman for the Defence Forces in each year since that office was established; the number of persons making claims to that office in each of tho...More Button

The Office of the Ombudsman for the Defence Forces was established under the Ombudsman (Defence Forces) Act 2004. On the 19th September 2005, Ms. Paulyn Marrinan Quinn SC was appointed by the Pres...More Button

The function of the Ombudsman for the Defence Forces is to act as the ultimate point of appeal for, and administrative investigation into, complaints made by members (and former members) of the Def...More Button

In her Annual Reports for 2006 and 2007 the Ombudsman for the Defence Forces reported that her office received twenty-six (26) referrals in 2006 and seventy-six (76) in 2007. She also reported rec...More Button

Was asked: if the quality of accommodation has been improved for the office of the Ombudsman for the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Office of the Ombudsman for the Defence Forces was established under the Ombudsman (Defence Forces) Act 2004. On the 19th September 2005, Ms. Paulyn Marrinan-Quinn SC was appointed by the Pres...More Button

The Ombudsman has sought alternative accommodation and I have supported her request to the Office of Public Works. I am advised that the OPW identified potentially suitable premises that were then...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Staff.

Was asked: the number of civilian employees working for his Department or the Defence Forces under short-term contracts; the number of such contracts that will expire by the end of 2009; and if he will make a...More Button

A total of nine civilian employees are employed by my Department under short term contracts to work with the Defence Forces. Contracts relating to two of these employees are due to expire by the en...More Button

Question No. 80 answered with Question No. 78.More Button

Was asked: the number of civil servants by rank or grade in his Department who are availing of work sharing and flexi-time arrangements as a percentage of the total number in each rank or grade in his Departm...More Button

The information requested by the Deputy is outlined in the following table: More Button

Was asked: the number of claims submitted by PDFORRA and RACO respectively under the Defence Forces conciliation and arbitration scheme since 1 January 2008; the number of these claims which have resulted in ...More Button

A large number of claims are received from the Representative Associations on an ongoing basis under the Conciliation and Arbitration Scheme. These claims are dealt with at Conciliation Council or ...More Button

Since January 2008 approximately forty claims have been submitted through the Conciliation Council by both PDFORRA and RACO. In addition a number of smaller type claims were submitted and dealt wit...More Button

I am satisfied that the Conciliation and Arbitration Scheme provides the mechanism for addressing issues which come within the associations’ remit and scope. This scheme provides a range of ...More Button

Was asked: the number of claims and proposals involving RACO and PDFORRA, respectively, that have been referred to a third party in each of the years from 1999 to 2009, inclusive; and if he will make a statem...More Button

The information sought by the Deputy is not readily available and I am satisfied that to extract this information would take an excessive amount of work and time. I can assure the Deputy however t...More Button

Was asked: the number of civil servants by grade or rank in the conciliation and arbitration branch, the executive branch and the finance branch of his Department, respectively, on 1 September 1991, 1 Septemb...More Button

I have set out in the tables below the information requested for the years 2000, 2005 and 2009. Similar figures for earlier years are not readily available due to changes in the organisation and b...More Button

Conciliation and Arbitration BranchMore Button

Executive BranchMore Button

Finance BranchMore Button

Was asked: the number of civil servants by grade or rank in his Department who have received formal training and education, respectively, in defence policy planning or analysis; the nature of that training or...More Button

I have set out in the table below details of relevant formal training and education courses undertaken by staff of my Department. My Department has a strong commitment to the training and developm...More Button

As part of the Performance Management and Development System (PMDS), a personal training and development plan is developed on an annual basis for every member of staff. Progress with individual tra...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Recruitment.

Was asked: if he will confirm that no recruitment to the Defence Forces will take place during 2009; the strength of the Army, the Air Corps and the Naval Service as of 1 January 2009; the projected strength ...More Button

Was asked: if it is intended to increase the strength of the Army, Navy and Air Corps; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 82 and 447 together.More Button

The strength of the Army, the Air Corps and the Naval Service as of 31 December 2008 is set out in the tabular statement. The Government introduced a moratorium on recruitment to the Public Servic...More Button

The moratorium and the reduction in the pay budget were introduced as cost saving measures to achieve necessary savings in the pay bill in the public sector. These savings will have to be achieved...More Button

Questions Nos. 83 and 84 answered with Question No. 66.More Button

Was asked: the number recruited to the Reserve Defence Forces to date in 2009; the number of potential recruits in the enlistment process prior to 27 March 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Government introduced a moratorium on recruitment to the Public Service with effect from 27th March 2009. In this context and given the reduced budgetary provision available for 2009, recruitme...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Equipment.

Was asked: the major equipment purchases planned for 2009 and 2010; the progress being made in sourcing new equipment and vehicles; if the global economic downturn is resulting in a reduction in equipment pri...More Button

Was asked: the way the €30 million reduction in defence spending, announced in the 7 April 2009 supplementary budget, will be achieved; the instances in which plans to acquire new equipment during 2009 w...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 85 and 98 together.More Button

As the Deputies are aware, there has been very significant investment in equipment and infrastructure in the Defence Forces over the past twelve years. The acquisition of new equipment for the Def...More Button

Several important equipment purchases will be advanced in 2009 and 2010 including the acquisition of Light Tactical Armoured Vehicles, three-quarter tonne 4 x 4 vehicles and two Heavy Recovery Vehi...More Button

The reduction of €30m will be achieved from:More Button

Was asked: if he is satisfied that adequate and modern safety equipment is available to all members of the Defence Forces in accordance with current or future best practice; and if he will make a statement on...More Button

Was asked: if all modern training technology and equipment is available to the Army, Navy and Air Corps individually in the context of participation in overseas deployments under the aegis of the EU and UN; a...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which technology and equipment for the Air Corps has been upgraded in line with modern military requirements with a view to benefiting to the maximum possible extent from service over...More Button

Was asked: if he is satisfied that all modern technology and equipment for training and for general use is currently being made available to the Defence Forces in the context of overseas deployment or regular...More Button

I propose to take Questions Number 449, 452, 454 and 455 together.More Button

As Minister for Defence, the health and safety of Defence Forces personnel and the provision of adequate training and equipment are of utmost importance to me. The Defence Forces complies with the...More Button

In terms of the other equipment types procured for use by the Defence Forces, contract documentation submitted by suppliers must include independent certification of compliance with any Irish, UK o...More Button

The Defence Forces is heavily involved in interoperability training and technical developments in coordination with similar UN and EU partners. For example, the Defence Forces took part in Exercise...More Button

As regards the Air Corps, a full fleet modernisation programme has been completed in the recent years, which has replaced the three older type of helicopters with two modern types, namely the EC135...More Button

These helicopters are equipped with rescue hoists also, so casualty extraction from remote areas with no landing areas can also be effected safely and efficiently. This hoist equipment is also stat...More Button

Question No. 450 answered with Question No. 448.More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Promotions.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the concerns expressed by the representative organisations about the implications for morale of the ban on promotions within the Defence Forces; the steps he will...More Button

The savings measures on public service numbers were introduced by the Government on 27 March as part of the response to the current unprecedented economic challenges. I am sensitive to the career ...More Button

The Defence Forces have improved in every respect since 2000 through the implementation of the White Paper. This represents a significant public service success story. The organisation is in a heal...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Deployment.

Was asked: the steps which are being taken to provide for additional personnel numbers in Custume Barracks, Athlone, County Westmeath; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I wish to refer the Deputy to my reply to question 91 on Tuesday 10th March last. There have been no further developments since then.More Button

Question No. 92 answered with Question No. 78.More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Operations.

Was asked: the number of call-outs made by the bomb disposal unit in the greater Dublin area, the Munster area, the Connaught-Ulster area and the Leinster area in 2008 and to date in 2009; the number of these...More Button

The information sought by the Deputy is not compiled in the manner requested. Each Brigade of the Defence Forces records information on calls out in its own area. The total number of calls out res...More Button

The following table indicates the total number of hoaxes as a percentage of total calls out for the period 2006-2009 (24th April 2009):More Button

The cost of each individual call out is not recorded separately but costs include: the salary and allowances of the team (i.e. one officer, one NCO and one driver), fuel for the distance travelled ...More Button

Was asked: the number of cash in transit escorts provided by the Defence Forces during 2008; the amount of personnel hours involved in these operations; the amount paid by banks or financial institutions for ...More Button

The number of cash in transit escorts provided by the Defence Forces in 2008 was 2,210. The average number of personnel per escort was 8 and the average duration of an escort was 10.9 hours. This...More Button

Was asked: if it is intended to increase naval and air surveillance in view of the need to combat drug trafficking or other criminal activity which may become more lucrative in the current economic climate; a...More Button

The Naval Service provides the maritime element of the Defence Forces and has a general responsibility to meet contingent and actual maritime defence requirements. The Naval Service operates eight...More Button

The current Exclusive Fishery Limits extend to 200 miles offshore and cover an area of 132,000 nautical square miles. The Naval Service currently patrols the entire 200 mile limit and periodically...More Button

Responsibility for the prevention of drug trafficking rests primarily with the Customs Service of the Revenue Commissioners. Responsibility for the prevention of crime, including people traffickin...More Button

The Air Corps provide air support and on occasion, carry the Customs National Drugs Team in an observational capacity for the purpose of monitoring vessels suspected of drug trafficking and other i...More Button

Written Answers - National Emergency Plan.

Was asked: when the task force on emergency planning last met; the items discussed; if there is a programme of simulated exercises in place for 2009; the nature of these exercises; and if he will make a state...More Button

I chair the Government Task Force on Emergency Planning which includes Ministers, senior officials of government departments, senior officers of An Garda Síochána and the Defence Forc...More Button

While the details of matters discussed at meetings of the Government Task Force are confidential, I can confirm that the Task Force examines current risks and supports coordination arrangements for...More Button

With regard to simulated exercises, I have, on many occasions stressed to the members of the Task Force the importance of conducting regular exercises. Departments have submitted details of their ...More Button

Question No. 97 answered with Question No. 66.More Button

Question No. 98 answered with Question No. 85.More Button

Question No. 99 answered with Question No. 66.More Button

Was asked: the full extent to which the Army, Navy and Air Corps are involved in the national emergency plan; the Government Department or sector which has overall responsibility in such issues; and if he wil...More Button

Emergency planning in this country is developed on the ‘lead department’ principle. This means that each department is responsible for planning for emergencies that fall within its area of re...More Button

The Framework for Major Emergency Management is the document that sets out a structure enabling the Principal Response Agencies (An Garda Síochána, the Health Service Executive and Lo...More Button

The Department of Defence and the Defence Forces are represented on a number of National emergency committees/groups including:More Button

Government Task Force on Emergency Planning; Interdepartmental Working Group on Emergency Planning;More Button

National Steering Group on Major Emergency Management; Interdepartmental Committee on Public Health Emergency Planning;More Button

Emergency Response Committee on Nuclear Accidents.More Button

The Major Emergency Plans which have been developed by local and regional authorities identify the procedures for requesting assistance from the Defence Forces. The provision of Defence Forces&rsqu...More Button

The negotiation of prior agreed arrangements through Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) and Service Level Agreements (SLAs) between the Department of Defence, the Defence Forces and relevant Gover...More Button

Question No. 452 answered with Question No. 449.More Button

Written Answers - Ministerial Transport.

Was asked: the number of hours flown by all aircraft including fixed and rotary wing as part of the ministerial air transport service in 1996 and 2006; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Ministerial Air Transport Service is provided by the Air Corps to facilitate members of the Government in fulfilling their official engagements at home and abroad. The Service is primarily prov...More Button

Helicopters are used from time to time for ministerial air transport in situations where, for operational reasons, fixed wing aircraft may not be available, the point of destination may not be clos...More Button

Question No. 102 answered with Question No. 76.More Button

Question No. 103 answered with Question No. 64.More Button

Question No. 104 answered with Question No. 66.More Button

Was asked: the number and type of Air Corps aircraft used by the ministerial air transport service; the way the hourly direct and total costs are calculated; the cost headings used to calculate direct and tot...More Button

The Ministerial Air Transport Service is primarily provided by the Gulfstream IV and Learjet 45 jet aircraft, which were specifically acquired for that purpose. Until recently, the Beechcraft Super...More Button

There are a total of 8 military helicopters in operational service with the Air Corps at present, comprising 6 x AW139 utility helicopters and 2 x EC135 P2 light utility helicopters. These helico...More Button

My Department follows the normal practice in the aviation business of costing aircraft by reference to the average cost per flying hour. This is done under either of two headings:More Button

The fixed costs are those which arise from having the aircraft regardless of whether it is flown or not. These include depreciation and personnel costs. The variable costs are those impacted by th...More Button

Written Answers - Drug Testing Programme.

Was asked: the changes he has made to the Defence Forces drug testing programme; the number of personnel tested under the programme in 2008 and to date in 2009; the number and rank of those who tested positiv...More Button

On 11 March last I signed into effect new Regulations covering the operation of the Compulsory Random Drug Testing programme (CRDT) in the Irish Defence Forces. The Irish Defence Forces policy on ...More Button

A review of the existing regulations became necessary arising from a High Court judgment last year. The new Regulations strengthen the administrative process, which follows a positive test result. ...More Button

When a member tests positive, they are afforded the opportunity to have a “B” sample tested independently. In the event that this also tests positive, the individual is assigned to duties of an adm...More Button

If the individual does not accept the recommendation, it is open to them to make further representations to the Formation Commander who may then appoint an independent Appeals Officer to conduct an...More Button

The objective of Targeted Drugs Testing is to ensure that an individual, who has previously tested positive for the presence of a controlled drug but who conditionally remains in service as a resul...More Button

An individual who agrees to submit to targeted drugs testing may expect to be tested up to six (6) times over a maximum period of eighteen months. As with CRDT, no prior notification of the date/da...More Button

Question No. 106 answered with Question No. 74.More Button

Written Answers - Consultancy Contracts.

Was asked: the reason for the 67% increase in the Estimates for his Department in respect of consultancy services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

An amount of €100,000 has been provided in Subhead A7 of Vote 36 for expenditure on consultancy services in 2009. The outturn for this Subhead in 2008 was €60,000. The total gross provi...More Button

Question No. 110 answered with Question No. 78.More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Reserve.

Was asked: the measures which have been taken to improve the capabilities of the Reserve Defence Force in line with the RDF review implementation plan; his views on the future role of the RDF; if the recruitm...More Button

The Reserve Defence Force Review implementation Plan provides for the phased enhancement of the Reserve over the period from 2004 to end 2009. Significant progress has been made to date in impleme...More Button

The Government decision of 8th July 2008 set out a requirement for savings to be achieved across the public sector. In this context, the planned recruitment and awareness campaign for the Reserve D...More Button

The moratorium and reduced budgetary provision have also prevented the recruitment of members of the Reserve to the Permanent Defence Force for the purpose of overseas service and this project has ...More Button

While the budgetary provision for the training of members of the Reserve has been reduced, it will be sufficient to allow all current members of the Reserve to undertake paid training this year. Cl...More Button

As the Reserve Defence Force Review Implementation Plan is reaching its conclusion, options for the future development of the Reserve will be considered. This will be informed by the lessons learn...More Button

Was asked: the number of applicants, in the context of the suspension of recruitment to the Reserve Defence Force which has been announced in recent weeks by the Deputy Chief of Staff, operations, to enlist i...More Button

The detailed information requested by the Deputy is not readily available. The information will be forwarded to the Deputy as soon as possible.More Button

Was asked: if, having regard to the suspension of promotions in the Defence Forces, Reserve Defence Force potential officers who have satisfactorily concluded module one and who have commenced module 11 will,...More Button

The recent government Decision on savings measures on public service numbers is being implemented in the Defence Forces. In this context all promotion within the Reserve has been suspended for the...More Button

While the restriction on recruitment, promotion and payment of allowances for the performance of duties of a higher grade applies to the Defence Forces across the board, questions have arisen in re...More Button

Was asked: the terms of reference of the value for money exercise recently announced for the Reserve Defence Force; the methodology being employed; the person who will undertake the exercise; if the Reserve D...More Button

The Government’s Value for Money and Policy Review Initiative is overseen by the Value for Money and Policy Review Central Steering Committee. Government Department’s are required to s...More Button

Value for Money Reviews are conducted in line with guidelines issued by the Department of Finance. Generic terms of reference for such reviews are outlined in these guidelines. Value for Money Revi...More Button

The Review is now being initiated and when formed, the Steering Committee will draft terms of reference in consultation with the Department of Finance. The methodology will be developed once the te...More Button

Other Value for Money Reviews undertaken: An Expenditure Review of Maintenance of Aircraft in the Air Corps was published in 2006. A Value for Money Review of Clothing Procurement in the Defence F...More Button

Was asked: the number of members of the Permanent Defence Force or Naval Service as at end March 2009 assigned to the Reserve, by rank, indicating those who are assigned on a full-time basis and those who are...More Button

As a result of the re-organisation of the Reserve Defence Force (RDF) in 2005 the establishment of the Cadre staff was reduced to figures of 298 in the Army Reserve and 22 in the Naval Service Rese...More Button

All members of the Permanent Defence Force or Naval Service who are assigned to the Reserve are assigned on a full time basis. The personnel listed in Table 1 are in receipt of allowances and the p...More Button

Table 1: Cadre Strength March 2009More Button

Table 2: Attachments Cadre Strength — March 2009More Button

Was asked: the reason, in respect of two eastern brigade Reserve and the written instruction issued on 30 March 2009, with the exception of career courses, guidance has been issued indicating that seven days ...More Button

The eligibility criteria for the payment of a gratuity annually to members of the Reserve Defence Forces have not changed for 2009. The Defence Organisation, as with the public service generally,...More Button

As there are finite resources available for paid training, all current members of the Reserve must be afforded the opportunity to undertake training as outlined in the Reserve Defence Force Review ...More Button

Significant changes to the gratuities paid to members of the Reserve who undertake specified training were introduced in 2008. The previous “flat rate” gratuity was increased to provide for differi...More Button

The terms and conditions for the payment of a gratuity have not changed for 2009. In addition to the phased increase in gratuities linked to specified training levels, both paid and voluntary, the...More Button

Was asked: the impact of the embargo on employment on the Reserve Defence Forces; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that people who have long-standing applications have been caught up in the restric...More Button

The Government introduced a moratorium on recruitment to the Public Service with effect from 27th March 2009 and, as with the public service generally, the Defence Organisation, is required to oper...More Button

Membership of the Reserve already requires a significant voluntary commitment of unpaid training. In addition members of the Reserve undertake paid training. While the current budgetary provision ...More Button

I appreciate that certain individuals wishing to join the Reserve are willing to forego paid training. However, I have to ensure that members of the Reserve are afforded the opportunity to undertak...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding members of the Reserve Defence Forces who wish to serve abroad; if he expects that such personnel will be able to serve abroad during 2009; and if he will make a statement on...More Button

The plan to deploy members of the Reserve Defence Force on overseas peace support operations has been postponed for the foreseeable future. The Government has introduced a moratorium on recruitment...More Button

The pilot project to send a small number of Reservists overseas by end 2009 was at an advanced stage and this is a disappointing development for all concerned. I would specifically like to thank t...More Button

Was asked: the progress made in regard to the commitment given in the programme for Government to fully execute the Reserve Defence Forces implementation plan by the 2009 target; and if he will make a stateme...More Button

The Reserve Defence Force Review implementation Plan provides for the phased enhancement of the Reserve over the period from 2004 to end 2009. Significant progress has been made to date in impleme...More Button

As the Deputies will be aware, the Government has introduced a moratorium on recruitment to the Public Service with effect from 27th March 2009 and as with the public service generally, the Defenc...More Button

The moratorium and reduced budgetary provision have also prevented the recruitment of members of the Reserve to the Permanent Defence Force for the purpose of overseas service and this project has ...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Training.

Was asked: the annual tests that Defence Force regulations require members of the Permanent Defence Force to satisfactorily conclude each year and the number, in respect of members of the Permanent Defence Fo...More Button

Members of the Permanent Defence Force (PDF) are required to pass an annual Test of Elementary Training and fire their annual range practice in their assigned weapon. These typically include the St...More Button

Was asked: the degree to which it has been found possible to allow the Naval Service train with other UN and EU forces in the context of likely future peacekeeping operations or missions; and if he will make ...More Button

Naval Service training plans are structured to provide the capabilities needed to execute the roles assigned to them under the White Paper on Defence. Priority is given to operational tasks in Irel...More Button

Questions Nos. 454 and 455 answered with Question No. 449.More Button

Was asked: the degree to which it has been found possible for members of the Defence Forces expected to be deployed on overseas duties under the aegis of the EU or UN to avail of training and technology avail...More Button

The Defence Forces receive ongoing training to enable them to participate fully in UN, EU and other missions overseas. Troops selected for overseas service undergo a rigorous programme of training,...More Button

The Defence Forces are also involved in interoperability training and technical developments in co-ordination with similar UN and EU partners. For example the Defence Forces took part in Exercise I...More Button

Question No. 457 answered with Question No. 74.More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Strength.

Was asked: the number of members of the Permanent Defence Force by rank who have retired or resigned to date in 2009; and the number of personnel by rank who are currently on predischarge leave or have sought...More Button

The number of members of the Permanent Defence Force by rank who have retired or resigned to date in 2009 and the number of personnel by rank who are currently on predischarge leave or have sought ...More Button

Discharges 2009 To Date OfficersMore Button

Enlisted PersonnelMore Button

Personnel Currently On Pre-Discharge LeaveMore Button

Officers Who Have Applied To Retire EarlyMore Button

Written Answers - Departmental Expenditure.

Was asked: the annual expenditure on external legal costs by his Department in each of the past five years; the annual expenditure on external legal costs by each of the agencies under his aegis in each of th...More Button

The main requirement for legal services in my Department is in the context of administrative law litigation, usually in the form of judicial review and personal injury proceedings. The Chief State...More Button

Other than the cost of legal services arising from litigation, my Department and agencies under its remit may from time to time have certain projects that are more suitable to assignment to a dedic...More Button

DepartmentMore Button

Civil Defence BoardMore Button

Written Answers - Decentralisation Programme.

Was asked: the position regarding the decentralisation of elements of his Department to the Curragh, County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Government decision on decentralisation provides for the transfer of Defence Forces Headquarters (DFHQ) to the Curragh. The procurement of a new building for DFHQ in the Curragh is being handl...More Button

Was asked: the expenditure to date on decentralisation projects by his Department and agencies and organisations under his responsi[984]bility, in the period from the announcement ...More Button

Was asked: the number of staff moved to date in decentralisation projects by his Department and agencies and organisations under his responsibility, in the period from the announcement of the Government&rsquo...More Button

Was asked: the costs anticipated in the physical move of the headquarters of his Department to its new decentralised headquarters; the expenditure to date on the designing, erection and equipping of the new d...More Button

Was asked: the average cost to date for the movement of staff and other ancillary costs under the Government’s programme for decentralisation, in his Department and ancillary agencies and organisations ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 458 to 461, inclusive, together. More Button

The Government decision on decentralisation provides for the transfer of my Department’s Dublin-based civil service staff, together with a number of military personnel, to Newbridge, Co. Kild...More Button

Costs for the DFHQ building are also borne on the Vote of the OPW. A state owned site in the Curragh has been chosen for the new building and the procurement process for construction of the buildi...More Button

Written Answers - Military Archives.

Was asked: if suitable accommodation will be provided for military archives; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Military Archives, located in Cathal Brugha Barracks, Rathmines, Dublin 6, is the place of deposit for the records of the Department of Defence, the Defence Forces and the Army Pensions Board u...More Button

Written Answers - Child Care Services.

Was asked: the progress made on providing a workplace child care facility at the Curragh Camp, County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I have just received, from the Defence Forces Partnership Steering Group, a Report which analyses the need and viability of a workplace child care facility in the Curragh Camp for members of the ...More Button

Question No. 447 answered with Question No. 82.More Button