Wednesday, 6 December 2000
Dáil Eireann Debate
56. Ms McManus asked the Minister for Defence if his attention has been drawn to concerns expressed by representatives of RACO that personnel were misled by his Department in regard to the implications of new legislation for the Defence Forces medical scheme; the investigation he has held into these allegations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28695/00]
Minister for Defence (Mr. M. Smith): I am aware that, during the course of proceedings at the recent RACO Annual Conference, a number of highly derogatory remarks were made in the public domain in relation to individual civil servants in the Department of Defence. I am satisfied that the content of the allegations made was entirely inaccurate, leaving to one side the separate issue of the abusive and personalised tenor of the remarks.
The statutory process of representation allows RACO to make public statements concerning issues which fall within the direct and proper scope of representation. However, it might be expected that, in making public statements, the association would act in as professional a manner as other representative bodies and that it would refrain from personal abuse.
Those who deliberately target individual civil servants know that the latter are unable themselves to reply immediately and publicly to untruthful personalised allegations. Such attacks raise more questions about their authors than about their intended victims.
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