Smith, Michael

Tuesday, 15 May 2001

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 536 No. 2

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Ceisteanna – Questions. - Ministerial Responsibilities.

That was a disgrace.More Button

Ceisteanna – Questions. - Agreements with Members.

That was decided by a vote of the House.More Button

Priority Questions. - Defence Forces Representative Association.

Was asked: if he will meet the Representative Association of Commissioned Officers in view of repeated requests from them for a meeting; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Last February I received a request for a meeting from the Representative Association of Commissioned Officers (RACO) to discuss the benchmarking process and other unspecified matters. My office replie...More Button

It seems Deputy Shatter may well be living in a time warp which represented the position for the Defence Forces during the regime of the rainbow Government, when vir tually nothing was happening and t...More Button

—which in turn means that the military authorities are engaged actively every day in the development of the Defence Forces. In tandem with that, I have arranged to devolve to the military authorities ...More Button

I will certainly be very happy to consider meeting RACO when I am informed of its proposed items for the agenda. In spite of Deputy Shatter's inference that I have not met RACO because of developments...More Button

The irreconcilable difference between the association representing the commissioned officers and their private comment to me and their public utterances are a matter of grave concern for me.More Button

The Deputy would love to be in my position. I have delivered on every promise.More Button

Priority Questions. - Weapons Decommissioning.

Was asked: if, in view of the fact that decommissioned mortars were rejected by the ISPAT plant in Cobh, County Cork, due to the level of radioactive contamination, the Defence Forces have undertaken an audit to...More Button

The decommissioning of old mortars took place in 1999. The mortars, 200 in all, were purchased from Brandt, a French company, in the period 1936 to 1955. On the recommendation of a military board of s...More Button

On the basis of the information available to me any activities of that kind conducted by the Defence Forces are carried out under the strictest regulations. As I indicated in my reply, the information...More Button

I would be happy to make any material such as reports available to the personnel concerned. There is no need for screening tests. The transfer of this material to the Curragh will be done under the st...More Button

Priority Questions. - Defence Forces Property.

Was asked: if he will outline Government policy regarding the closure and sale of military property, specifically his plans to close and sell parts of Gormanston Camp and airfield, County Meath for development; ...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, on 15 July 1998 the Government approved a programme of evacuation and the sale of six barracks which were considered surplus to military requirements. This decision is part of ...More Button

The answer is yes. The Chief of Staff and the Deputy Chief of Staff were informed.More Button

I cannot be precise, but the announcement was probably made three weeks after they were informed. After the announcement, I met the local personnel to discuss my decision.More Button

I discuss various issues with my Cabinet colleagues and Ministers of State touching on my portfolio. I do not recall a recent meeting on this one with the Minister of State, Deputy Jacob.More Button

The Member does not understand. First and foremost, these are my responsibilities, and, second, my decision does not exclude any development for Gormanston.More Button

That was decided years ago.More Button

Let us be clear. I have decided, with the military authorities' agreement, to dispose of the Gormanston lands. The military camp will be retained. The purpose for which the lands will be dedicated is...More Button

My discussions with the military authorities are to ensure that after the disposal of the lands alternative arrangements are made for training. I asked them to produce proposals on this and they agree...More Button

Of course it has been approved by the Government.More Button

Priority Questions. - Pension Entitlements.

Was asked: if the Government has yet concluded its consideration of the position of the Commission on Public Service Pensions regarding the inclusion of the military service allowance in calculating pensions of ...More Button

The Government has not yet fully completed its detailed consideration of the final report of the Commission on Public Service Pensions, published by my colleague, the Minister for Finance, on 31 Janua...More Button

Many Governments dealt with this matter, including one in which the Deputy—More Button

—had the opportunity to make his point. It is a detailed, complex report covering a long time. The Government will give it active consideration in order to make decisions as soon as possible.More Button

The commission, an independent group, stated that it “had shown that the cost of any change in policy on this matter would be substantial. In addition, the change in policy would possibly be extended ...More Button

I do not have the figures but recollect that 450 are involved. I will give the Deputy the details later.More Button

It is simple and tempting to answer “yes”. On such a matter, raised by successive Deputies since the early 1990s for the Defence Forces and the early 1980s for the Garda Síochána, because of the compl...More Button

Priority Questions. - Wage Increases.

Was asked: the reason the Defence Forces have not been paid the 1 April 2001 2% wage increase under the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness; if civil servants in the Department of Defence received this 2% paym...More Button

The payment to members of the Permanent Defence Forces of the 2% increase that came into effect on 1 April 2001 under the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness will take place later this month as foll...More Button

The situation that arose earlier this year was that both my Department and the Department of Finance, which is the sanctioning authority for Defence Forces pay increases, were heavily involved in prep...More Button

I am not aware whether members of the Defence Forces were informed. As I said, it is a practice I would like to bring to an end no matter what the pressures. I assure the Deputy that as far as I can p...More Button

I sincerely hope they have been informed but if not, they will know now. As I said, it is a development for which I apologise and which should not have happened in the first place.More Button

Other Questions. - Pre-Retirement Courses.

Was asked: the training courses which are available to retiring Defence Force personnel; the percentage uptake of such pre-retirement courses; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Defence Forces personnel support service provides comprehensive pre-retirement courses for personnel who are due to retire on age grounds from the Defence Forces. The content and issues covered in...More Button

I agree with Deputy Shatter – I think the opposite is the position. With so many developments in terms of employment opportunities, we are stretched to try to maintain our numbers in the FCA. I have m...More Button

I would be happy to do that. We are encouraging people at all levels to help us to keep up our numbers.More Button

Other Questions. - Defence Forces Commemorations.

Was asked: the steps which have been taken to date to honour those who died in the Niemba ambush in the Congo; if there are plans to further honour the survivors of the ambush; and if he will make a statement on...More Button

The Defences Forces and the State honours, and will continue to honour, the memory and recognise the sacrifice of the men who died in the service of peace at Niemba or in any other theatre of UN opera...More Button

Generally speaking, the military authorities go to great lengths to ensure that relatives are invited. It is one of the great sacrifices the Defence Forces make in the service of peace in different pa...More Button

I met Mr. Fitzpatrick on a number of occasions. On the day the Réalt Mileata was presented to the surviving families, which included him and others, we had a brief discussion about what else could be ...More Button

Other Questions. - Army Barracks.

Was asked: the progress made to date in upgrading barracks; the works that will be completed during the course of 2001; the estimated cost of same; and the moneys it is expected the State will receive during 200...More Button

Was asked: the progress made to date in upgrading barracks; the works that will be completed during the course of 2001; the estimated cost of same; and the moneys it is expected the State will receive during 200...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 70 and 187 together. The position is that a special reinvestment programme was initiated by my Department in 1999 to complement expenditure on the normal range of buil...More Button

I am unable to tell the Deputy whether an audit was done for the Minister for Finance. However, an audit has been done for the Department, and I am prepared to furnish such particulars to the Deputy. ...More Button

Deputy Timmins usually tries to be serious in this House, but he is laughing now because he knows some of these properties should have been disposed of a long time ago. The advantage is that now we wi...More Button

Training is a very important component of military activities, and we must ensure there are adequate facilities for it. When I first visited the Curragh Camp, I was quite ashamed by what I found. Howe...More Button

Other Questions. - Civil Defence.

Was asked: the position regarding the review of the Civil Defence; the number of full time officers; the number of members and units in each city and county; the value of equipment supplied to the Civil Defence ...More Button

Was asked: the strength, male and female, of the Civil Defence; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Other Questions. - Army Barracks.

Was asked: his plans for the disposal of McGee Barracks, County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he is satisfied with the position in McGee Barracks, County Kildare, in relation to the site which is leased to Kildare County Council; if his Department has met the council to discuss the unaffect...More Button

I propose taking Questions Nos. 72 and 105 together. I am currently considering the future use of McGee Barracks. At present a portion of the barracks is used to accommodate asylum seekers. An area of...More Button

An area of approximately one acre has been made available to Kildare County Council to provide a temporary halting site for members of the Traveller community. My considerations will involve consultat...More Button

Other Questions. - Hearing Impairment Claims.

Was asked: the total number of claims for damages for deafness determined in court or settled out of court at the latest date for which figures are available; the total number of such claims outstanding; the pro...More Button

By 30 April 2001 a total of 15,705 claims had been received by my Department from current and former members of the Defence Forces in respect of loss of hearing allegedly caused during their military ...More Button

I am acutely aware of what is happening. It was originally estimated that the total cost of hearing impediment claims would be about £1.25 billion, based on the amounts being awarded by the courts or ...More Button

It will be between £250 and £300 million.More Button

I cannot honestly answer Deputy Shatter's question as the Department of Defence is receiving about 14 claims each week.More Button

Yes. The Department cannot be certain when this matter will end. I estimate that it will take about two years to clear the bulk of outstanding cases, looking at the figures with which we are now faced...More Button

About £130 million has been paid so far, to about half of the total claimants.More Button

Approximately £30 million to £35 million of the £130 million went on legal costs. Written Answers follow Adjournment Debate.More Button

Written Answers - Army Barracks.

Was asked: the proposed arrangements for the disposal of Clancy Barracks; if consideration has been given as to the potential use of part of the site for housing; if an approach has been made by Dublin Corporati...More Button

Following a recent tender competition, Hamilton Osborne King were appointed selling agents for the disposal of Clancy Barracks. The barracks will be offered for sale by public tender on 14 June 2001. ...More Button

Written Answers - Inventory Management System.

Was asked: the way in which the inventory management system operates in his Department; the areas covered by the system; the cost of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The inventory management system, IMS, is currently being implemented across the national defence network as a computer based system. The system runs on an Oracle database version 8.1 using Forms versi...More Button

Written Answers - Army Barracks.

Was asked: if arrangements have been completed and finance sanctioned for the bicentennial monument to symbolise and perpetuate the memory of all those who served in Collins Barracks, County Cork; and if he will...More Button

Was asked: the arrangements sanctioned for the Bi-Centenary of Collins Barracks, County Cork in September 2001; if former members of the Defence Forces who have served in the barracks will be invited to particip...More Button

Was asked: the arrangements sanctioned for the Bi-Centenary of Collins Barracks, County Cork in September 2001; if former members of the Defence Forces who have served in the barracks will be invited to particip...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 76, 102 and 182 together. The bi-centenary of the construction of Collins Barracks, Cork will take place in September of this year. It is fitting that this event be ma...More Button

Written Answers - Missing Person.

Was asked: the position regarding the search for the remains of a person (details supplied) who has been missing in the Lebanon since 1980; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

On 27 April 1981, an observation post in south Lebanon manned by Private Hugh Doherty and Private Kevin Joyce of Irish Battalion came under attack. Private Doherty was later found dead from gunshot wo...More Button

Written Answers - Decentralisation Programme.

Was asked: the plans his Department has for decentralisation; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In the context of the White Paper on Defence, the Government decided to decentralise the Civil Defence branch of my Department to Roscrea, County Tipperary. It was also decided that two sections of De...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Property.

Was asked: the position regarding the sale of lands and barracks by his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the land or property his Department has disposed of in the past three years; the further plans he has for disposal; if, in all cases, the local housing authority has been given first refusal; and the ...More Button

Was asked: if he will brief Dáil Éireann on the progress in the Government's 1999 policy to close and sell six military barracks; the revenue which was expected to accrue in regard to Magee Barracks Kildare and ...More Button

Was asked: the amount realised or expected to be realised by the sale of military property and lands, excluding the six barracks closed in 1999; the percentage of the amount realised or expected to be realised t...More Button

Was asked: the position in relation to the disposal of the various military installations closed in 1998; the total receipts accruing to the Exchequer; the total costs involved in the exercise to date; the antic...More Button

Was asked: the position in relation to disposal and use of Devoy Barracks, Naas, County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 79, 174, 188, 189, 202, and 203 together. The sale of six barracks identified as surplus to military requirements is being progressed. The barracks in question are loc...More Button

Written Answers - Rapid Reaction Force.

Was asked: the financial expenditure which will be incurred by his Department in preparations for the new European rapid reaction force; if he will give a breakdown of the expenditure; and the amount of increase...More Button

I would like to clarify any confusion arising from the description of the capabilities for the EU headline goal, a voluntary target which EU member states aim to meet by the year 2003, as a rapid reac...More Button

Written Answers - Crash Rescue Service.

Was asked: if the required fire safety equipment and facilities are now available at Finner Camp, County Donegal, to allow it to be used for helicopter cover on a 24 hour basis; and if he will make a statement o...More Button

I have been advised by the military authorities that the necessary equipment and crash rescue vehicle will be delivered at the end of next month. The Air Corps have been tasked to establish a crash re...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Retirements.

Was asked: his views on whether a person (details supplied) was informed as to the reason he was retired in the interests of the service; if the Government will issue an apology to this person: and if S.636, S.6...More Button

On the advice of the Government, the individual concerned was retired, by the President, with effect from a date in June, 1969. The retirement was effected pursuant to section 47(2) of the Defence Act...More Button

Written Answers - Air Accident Report.

Was asked: the progress made to date in the implementation of the recommendations of the Report of the Air Accident Investigations Unit into the crash of an Air Corps Helicopter in Tramore, County Waterford in J...More Button

Was asked: the progress made to date regarding the establishment of the Air Corps safety office; the resources available to the office; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Question Nos. 83 and 87 together. Following the publication of the report of the air accident investigation unit of the Department of Public Enterprise into the accident at Tramore o...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Re-organisation.

Was asked: if he has satisfied himself with the recent re-organisation of the Defence Forces; if additional changes have had to be made; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My overall objective as Minister for Defence is to ensure that the country has the Defence Forces it needs and that the Defence Forces continue to be an organisation in which people are proud to serve...More Button

Written Answers - FCA Re-organisation.

Was asked: the position in relation to the proposed changes in the FCA; and when it is expected that such changes will be finalised and put into effect.More Button

The overall strategy for the future development of the Service Defence Force will be based on the report of the special steering group, which I established in January 1998. That group, which met each ...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Property.

Was asked: the plans he has for Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel, County Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the likely potential use for Baldonnel Aerodrome, County Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 86 and 176 together. Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel, County Dublin, is the principal base of the Air Corps. With the withdrawal of aircraft from Gormanston and the relo...More Button

Written Answers - Air Corps Aircraft.

Was asked: the latest position regarding the tendering process for the supply of medium lift helicopters; when he expects that the tendering process will be completed; when it is expected that the helicopters wi...More Button

The tender competition for the acquisition of medium lift helicopters for the Air Corps is progressing well. This major investment programme involves the acquisition of two medium lift helicopters, wi...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Retirements.

Was asked: the number of personnel of each rank who have retired from the Defence Forces in each of the past five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the total number of officers and other ranks in respect of the Army, Naval Service and the Air Corps who have left the service during the past 12 months; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the strength of the Permanent Defence Forces and Reserves; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he will state by rank, the total number of personnel, male and female in the Army, Navy and Air Corps; the extent to which increases or decreases have taken place under each heading; and if he will...More Button

Was asked: the total number of personnel, male and female, in the FCA at present; the degree to which there has been an increase or decrease; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 89, 100, 200, 201 and 205 together. The details requested by the Deputies are shown in the form of tabular statements which I propose to circulate in the Official Repo...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Recruitment.

Was asked: the current height requirement for females seeking entry into the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The current minimum height requirements for entry of females to the Defence Forces is 162.5 cm 5 ft 4 ins. Height requirements in the Defence Forces are necessary because it has been the experience of...More Button

Written Answers - Equestrian School.

Was asked: the plans his Department has for the purchase of new bloodstock for the Equestrian School; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The mission of the Army Equitation School, as assigned to it on its establishment in 1926, is to advertise the Irish horse abroad through participation in international competitions. The school has di...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Retirement Homes.

Was asked: if any approaches have been made by the representative associations regarding the provision of retirement homes for ex-members of the Defence Forces; if so, his response to such approaches; if he will...More Button

Approaches have not been made to me by the Defence Forces representative associations regarding the provision of retirement homes for ex-members of the Defence Forces. The provision of housing is a ma...More Button

Written Answers - Drug Seizures.

Was asked: the number of drug seizure operations involving the Naval Service and An Garda Síochána in each of the past two years and to date; the number of such operations which have resulted in drugs being seiz...More Button

Was asked: the number of drug seizure operations involving both the Naval Service and An Garda Síochána in each of the past two years and in 2001 to date; the number of such operations which have resulted in dru...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 93 and 179 together. The Naval Service is the State's principal sea-going agency and is tasked with a variety of defence and other roles. It is equipped with a total o...More Button

Written Answers - Government Jet.

Was asked: the progress made to date concerning the acquisition of a new Government jet; the plans he has to arrange for a tendering process; and the estimated cost involved.More Button

Was asked: the position regarding consideration by the Government of a replacement for the Gulfstream IV jet; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the way in which his Department proposes to finance the purchase of the new Govern ment jet; the amount that he has budgeted for this purchase; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 94, 101, and 190 together. The ministerial air transport service – MATS – is currently operated by the Air Corps using the Gulfstream IV executive jet, acquired in 199...More Button

Written Answers - Overseas Missions.

Was asked: if, in the context of the deteriorating situation in Macedonia, he has engaged in discussions with European Defence Ministers concerning a possible European Union initiative to provide a peacekeeping ...More Button

Was asked: if, in the context of the deteriorating sit uation in Macedonia, he has engaged in discussions with European Defence Ministers concerning a possible European Union initiative to provide a peacekeeping...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 95 and 186 together. No such discussions have taken place to date. I am advised by my colleague, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, that there has been no substantive d...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Property.

Was asked: if he has completed an audit of lands under the aegis of his Department; if so, if he has forwarded this to the Department of Finance; if he will provide a copy of this audit; and if he will make a st...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, the Government, on 15 July 1998, approved a programme of evacuation and sale of six barracks which were considered surplus to military requirements. This decision is part of th...More Button

Written Answers - EU Co-operation.

Was asked: the operations he proposes that the Defence Forces will undertake together with defence forces of other European Union states during the course of the next two years.More Button

Was asked: when he believes the European rapid reaction force will be up and running.More Button

Was asked: the operations he proposes the Defence Forces will undertake together with defence forces of other European Union States during the course of the next two years.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 97, 118, and 180 together. I would like to clarify any confusion arising from the description of the capabilities for the EU headline goal, a voluntary target which EU...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Equipment.

Was asked: the progress made to date regarding the acquisition of new Piranha armoured personnel carriers for the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Following a tender competition which was conducted in strict compliance with Government procurement procedures, a contract was signed on 30 November 1999 for the supply by Mowag of Switzerland of 40 a...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Recruitment.

Was asked: the progress made to date in the recruitment campaign announced by him on 14 March 2001; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the cost of the recent recruitment campaign; the particular efforts which have been made by his Department to recruit school leavers; the number of long-term unemployed recruited in the past year; and...More Button

Was asked: the strength of the Defence Forces; if new recruitment initiatives are proposed; and if he proposes to reduce the number of Defence Forces personnel.More Button

Was asked: the current strength of the Defence Forces; if any new recruitment initiatives have been proposed; and if he proposes to reduce the current number of Defence Forces personnel.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 99, 122, 129 and 181 together. The White Paper sets out a figure of 10,500 personnel for the Permanent Defence Force, comprising 930 for the Air Corps, 1,144 for the N...More Button

Written Answers - Official Engagements.

Was asked: if he will make a statement on his visit to Irish troops serving with KFOR in Kosovo.More Button

On 28 March 2001 I visited Kosovo where I met with Irish troops serving with the fourth Irish contingent – transport company – KFOR. KFOR was established under UN Security Council Resolution 1244 on 1...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Strength.

Was asked: if the current and projected strength of the Defence Forces is adequate in anticipation of likely commitments to the UN and Partnership for Peace; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he has had any indication as to the likely role to be played by the Defence Forces in the course of the compilation and operation of Partnership for Peace; and if he will make a statement on the ma...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which special training or other procedures have been put in place for the Defence Forces with particular reference to personnel likely to be involved in Partnership for Peace commitments...More Button

Was asked: if the Army, the Naval Service and the Air Corps strength is adequate in view of likely commitments in the context of Partnership for Peace; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the extent to which he has evaluated Partnership for Peace proposals with particular reference to the composition and compilation of the European rapid reaction force; if extensive consideration was g...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 104, 116 and 196 to 198 inclusive, together. In the White Paper on Defence the Government decided the Defence Forces require a strength of 10,500 personnel, ready to f...More Button

Written Answers - Medical Screening Programme.

Was asked: the number of serving members and former members of the Defence Forces who have received screening as a result of concerns regarding exposure to depleted uranium while serving abroad; if he has satisf...More Button

As the House will be aware, as a result of recent public concern regarding possible environmental and health risks relating to the use of depleted uranium weapons in the Balkans, the Defence Forces ha...More Button

Written Answers - Overseas Missions.

Was asked: the number of Irish military personnel who are based in Brussels as part of our contribution to Partnership for Peace; if this number will increase; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

A total of three military personnel are based with the liaison office of Ireland to Partnership for Peace in Brussels. A further officer works part-time with the liaison office. No further appointment...More Button

Written Answers - Irish Red Cross Society.

Was asked: if he has received a copy of the strategic review of the Irish Red Cross Society; if so, his views on the review; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I have received a copy of the strategic review of the Irish Red Cross Society. Officials in my Department are currently studying the review to enable them to respond to any legislative changes which m...More Button

Written Answers - Capital Projects.

Was asked: the capital projects being undertaken by his Department regarding the provision or development of sports facilities for the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The following capital projects to provide-develop sports facilities for the Defence Forces are currently under construction: (a) new swimming pool and refurbishment of existing gymnasium at the Defenc...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Property.

Was asked: the likely further military use of Gormanston Aerodrome, County Meath; the consideration which has been given to other possible use of the facilities at Gormanston; and if he will make a statement on ...More Button

Was asked: his plans for the sale of Gormanston Airfield; his Department's estimate of the value of the site; the purposes for which the proceeds of the sale will be used; the plans there are regarding the reloc...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 110 and 111 together. As I outlined in my reply to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 105 and 108 on 10 April 2001, I have decided to dispose of some land at Gormanston camp...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding the refurbishment of the Curragh swimming pool.More Button

A contract was placed by my Department in June 2000 for the construction of a new 25 metre swimming pool at the Defence Forces training centre Curragh Camp, County Kildare, and the refurbishment of th...More Button

Written Answers - Army Operations.

Was asked: the number of Army personnel involved to date in foot and mouth disease operations; the cost incurred in such operations to date; and if the Army's involvement is now being scaled down.More Button

Was asked: the total costs incurred by the Defence Forces through the provision of assistance for the Garda in relation to patrols or checkpoints arising from the foot and mouth disease scare; the total number o...More Button

Was asked: the number of Army personnel involved to date in foot and mouth disease operations; the cost incurred in such operations to date; and if the Army's involvement is now being scaled down.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 113, 128 and 183 together.More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Training.

Was asked: the position regarding the provision of night flying training for Air Corps pilots servicing the Garda air support unit; the discussions he has had with the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Ref...More Button

On 11 May 1999, during an operation in the Clare and Galway region, the Garda air support unit – GASU – helicopter which is piloted by Air Corps personnel inadvertently entered cloud. Contact was lost...More Button

Written Answers - EU Meetings.

Was asked: the matters discussed and conclusions reached at the meeting of EU Defence Ministers in Brussels on 1 April 2001; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

At the invitation of the Swedish Minister for Defence I attended an informal meeting of EU Defence Ministers in Brussels on 6 April 2001. The meeting, an informal event, was not a decision making foru...More Button

Written Answers - Decentralisation Programme.

Was asked: the position regarding the transfer of Department officials to Roscrea, County Tipperary; the estimated cost of the transfers; the cost of the facilities purchased or leased in Nenagh; and if he will ...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, the Government decided to decentralise the Civil Defence branch of my Department to Roscrea, County Tipperary. The Office of Public Works, which has responsibility for the...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Training.

Was asked: the reason for the provision of psychometric services in connection with Air Corps and Naval Service cadetships; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In recent years the selection process for the award of cadetships in the Permanent Defence Force has involved psychometric testing which includes both written and verbal psychological assessments.More Button

Written Answers - Garda Investigations.

Was asked: if an inquiry is being conducted into alleged incidents that occurred on the naval flagship L.E. Eithne on the weekend of 21 to 23 April 2001; the nature of the alleged incidents; and if he will make ...More Button

Was asked: if an investigation is being conducted into an allegation that a young Dublin woman was sexually assaulted and possibly drugged on the weekend of 21 to 23 April 2001 on the Naval Service flagship, the...More Button

Was asked: if an investigation is being conducted into an allegation that a young Dublin woman was sexually assaulted and possibly drugged on the weekend of 21 to 23 April 2001 on the Naval Service flagship, the...More Button

Was asked: if an inquiry is being conducted into alleged incidents that occurred on the naval flagship L.E. Eithne on the weekend of 21 to 23 April 2001; the nature of the alleged incidents; and if he will make ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 120, 127, 184 and 185 together. The allegations referred to in these questions are being investigated by the Garda authorities and it would therefore be inappropriate ...More Button

Written Answers - Naval Service Vessels.

Was asked: when the new Naval Service vessel, the L.E. Niamh, will be available for operational duties; the arrangements which have been made for the armament of the vessel; and if he will make a statement on th...More Button

The building of the second new ship for the Naval Service by Appledore Shipbuilders Limited in England is almost complete. The ship, to be named L.E. Niamh, is a replacement for L.E. Deirdre which has...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Training.

Was asked: if he has satisfied himself with the adequacy of all safety procedures on all Defence Forces firing ranges; the number and frequency of times these procedures are checked or updated; the emergency pro...More Button

I am advised by the military authorities that the general officer commanding each brigade nominates a unit commander in charge of each Defence Forces firing range. The unit commander has the responsib...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Appointments.

Was asked: the steps he is taking to ensure that all appointments made to boards, committees or other bodies under the aegis of his Department are consistent with the Government's stated policy in regard to gend...More Button

Other than the re-appointment of serving members to the board of Coiste an Asgard and the appointment of replacement military members to the Army Pensions Board, I have, as Minister for Defence, made ...More Button

Written Answers - Military Service Allowance.

Was asked: the further developments which have taken place regarding the implementation of the military service allowance since the publication of the pensions report; and if he will make a statement on the matt...More Button

This question refers to the issue of having military service allowance – MSA – included in the calculation of pensions of Defence Forces personnel who retired before the 1 August 1990. As I previously...More Button

Written Answers - Ministerial Meetings.

Was asked: the meetings he has had with the representative associations within the past 12 months; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I last had formal meetings with RACO and PDFORRA on 15 June 2000 and 27 June 2000, respectively. In addition, I attended the delegate conferences of both associations late last year. The conciliation ...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Recruitment.

Was asked: the appointments and vacancies in the engineering officer branch of the Naval Services; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The establishment for marine engineer officers in the Naval Service is 32 and the current strength is 15. A further seven – ensigns and cadets – are in training. A competition for the appointment of m...More Button

Written Answers - Overseas Missions.

Was asked: if, in view of the fact that the last Irish battalion to serve in the Lebanon will finish their tour of duty in 2001, he will arrange an appropriate event to mark the enormous contribution made by the...More Button

I am advised by the military authorities that a project team has been appointed to undertake a military study to examine the feasibility of such a project and to make recommendations as to a suitable ...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Retirement Scheme.

Was asked: the number of Permanent Defence Force members who availed of the voluntary early retirement scheme; the type of support services provided to them; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The number of Permanent Defence Force personnel who availed of the voluntary early retirement scheme from 1996 to 1998 was 1,509. The following table indicates the number who availed of the voluntary ...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Property.

Was asked: the expected date for removal of explosives currently stored in respect of the barracks lands at Ballincollig, County Cork; and the position regarding the disposal of the property.More Button

The barracks lands will be placed on the market when Cork County Council completes its deliberations on the integrated action area plan commissioned for the property. This is expected in the near futu...More Button

Written Answers - Army Provisions.

Was asked: the source of the beef supplied to Army personnel; if it is Irish beef; and if not, the country of origin.More Button

A contract for the supply of beef to military barracks nationwide during the period 1 May 2001 to 30 April 2002 has been placed by the military authorities with Mr. John Duffy Limited, The Diamond, Ra...More Button

Was asked: if troops training abroad are protected from any possible contact with BSE infected beef, particularly beef from Uruguay and Brazil; and if he can guarantee that troops are not given beef from Uruguay...More Button

In the case of individuals sent for training at a centre abroad, there is no direct control that can be exercised by the Defence Forces on where or what they eat. The training centres abroad are run b...More Button

Written Answers - Army Operations.

Was asked: if any reported incidents involving soldiers on duty during the foot and mouth disease crisis in Border areas had been brought to his attention; if any notification has been drawn to his attention whe...More Button

I am advised by the military authorities that two incidents have been reported by Defence Forces personnel on duty in the Border area in connection with the foot and mouth disease operation. At 3 a.m....More Button

Written Answers - Army Barracks Closures.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the concern of civilian employees at Clancy Barracks, Dublin 8, who claim that they were not adequately informed of their position when the barracks closes in July 2...More Button

Since the decision was taken to close Clancy Barracks I have met on two occasions with both the closure committee in the barracks and representatives from the Joint Industrial Council for State Employ...More Button

Written Answers - Military Hospitals.

Was asked: the length of time involved in agreement being reached in order for St. Bricin's Hospital, Dublin 7, to be used for the treatment of civilian patients; the reasons for delays; and if he will make a st...More Button

There is a considerable degree of preparatory work currently being undertaken by the principal parties involved in this project, prior to the start of day-case surgery services for civilian public pat...More Button

Written Answers - Dental Service.

Was asked: if consideration has been given to use the services of private dentists in view of the shortfall of dentists in the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In situations where Army dental officers are not available to provide dental care, suitable local arrangements are made with dental practitioners to ensure that the appropriate level of care is availa...More Button

Written Answers - Official Engagements.

Was asked: if he will publish the weekly schedules of official meetings and visits; and if the schedules will be available on the departmental websites.More Button

I do not propose to publish my weekly schedule of official engagements on my Department's website. However, my public official engagements are supplied each week to the Government Information Services...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Training.

Was asked: his training plans for Defence Forces air defence live firing practice, Air Corps air-to-ground live firing practice, and Defence Forces parachute training upon the closure of these training areas at ...More Button

It is accepted that the use of alternative facilities or locations for the activities referred to will have to be considered. I understand that the military authorities are aware of the issues involve...More Button

Written Answers - Public Service Pay.

Was asked: if his Department's submission to the public service benchmarking body was submitted after the specified deadline, withdrawn and finally resubmitted a week after the specified date, and that the chair...More Button

Was asked: if his Department's submission to the public service benchmarking body was submitted after the specified deadline, withdrawn and finally resubmitted a week after the specified date, and that the chair...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 192 and 193 together.More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Equipment.

Was asked: the extent to which the refitting has taken place in the Defence Forces with particular reference to military hardware and equipment; the extent to which proposals identified in the PricewaterhouseCoo...More Button

Following the submission of the White Paper on Defence to Government on 29 February 2000, the Government conveyed approval for the allocation of 100% of pay savings arising from the reduction in the a...More Button

Written Answers - European Security and Defence Policy.

Was asked: the extent to which he has had further discussions with his European Union colleagues in the context of preparation for Partnership for Peace; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Since my reply to Parliamentary Question No. 105 raised by the Deputy on 28 March 2001 one meeting has been held at ministerial level, with a further meeting scheduled for 14 and 15 May 2001 in the co...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Reserve.

Was asked: the degree to which adequate resources have been put in place to meet the requirements of the FCA; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The overall strategy for the future development of the Reserve Defence Force will be based on the report of the special steering group, which I established in January 1998. That group, which met with ...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Regulations.

Was asked: if Army motorcycle personnel are required to hold current driving licences appropriate for this class of vehicle; and if not, the road traffic regulation under which these personnel are exempt.More Button

Defence Forces regulations state that Army motorcyclists must be in possession of an Army driving permit, that is, AF 154B motor cycle. Exemptions from certain provisions of the Road Traffic Acts exis...More Button


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