O'Dea, Willie

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 668 No. 4

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Order of Business.

Question put: “That the Dáil shall sit later than 8.30 p.m. tonight.”
Yes IndicatorVoted Yes More Button

Question put: “That the proposal for dealing with Second Stage of the Finance (No.2) Bill 2008 be agreed to.”
Yes IndicatorVoted Yes More Button

Priority Questions - Army Barracks.

Was asked: if a meeting with him was sought by a Defence Forces representative association to discuss barrack closures; the date the meeting was sought; if the meeting has taken place; and if he will make a s...More Button

Yes, PDFORRA sought a meeting with me to discuss the issue of barrack closures. While no date has been set for such a meeting, I have assured PDFORRA that I will meet it to discuss how we can achieve...More Button

My secretary wrote to PDFORRA on my behalf on 13 November, making it clear to PDFORRA that I would be prepared to meet to discuss the implementation of the Government decision, not the substance of th...More Button

I can give the House this guarantee, that no one will be moved until the facilities in the receiving barracks are adequate. As a representative of a party in favour of cutting public expenditure to a...More Button

——Deputy Deenihan will support that. I recall Deputy Deenihan’s immediate reaction to barrack closures. He did not question the merit of the barrack closure at all, in sharp contradiction to the Dep...More Button

He said that Fine Gael would oppose the closure of the barracks no matter what. It did not matter what it cost.More Button

This is playing politics and talking out of two sides of one’s mouth. More Button

Perhaps Deputy Deenihan will enlighten the House——More Button

——as to where Fine Gael stands on this matter. Is Fine Gael for or against the closure of the barracks?More Button

I would like to get some clarification. The people are entitled to know where Fine Gael stands on this important matter.More Button

Priority Questions - Information and Communications Technology.

Was asked: the steps he has taken to define and classify the risks and threats in the area of cyber security and defence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Cyber security, cyber crime and Internet security represent challenges that are constantly evolving and require vigilance and appropriate responses. Cyber security is multifaceted. The nature of the...More Button

The Department of Defence is not the lead Department. We operate the same system as under the emergency planning provisions. Each Department is primarily responsible for its own security. The centr...More Button

I agree with Deputy O’Shea about the possible devastating impact of such an attack. Considerable discussion has taken place on who should be the lead Department in this regard and after due considera...More Button

Priority Questions - Defence Forces Policy.

Was asked: if, with regard to the agreed action plan under the pay agreement and modernisation agenda for the Defence Forces, the specific initiatives and commitments under the heading “organisation and stren...More Button

The White Paper on Defence 2000 sets out defence policy and a framework for modernisation and change over the period to end 2010. This framework has provided the overarching modernisation goals for t...More Button

I do not believe it is a breach of the pay agreement. My understanding of the pay agreement is that if we were proposing to close barracks in normal circumstances we would consult. As Deputy Deeniha...More Button

First, it is not all about cost. It is also about collective training. I have been under pressure from the military from the time I took over this Department to consolidate the number of barracks to...More Button

I can confirm to Deputy Deenihan that I have a good deal of correspondence to back that up. Second, in regard to cost, the Deputy will be aware there is a later question on cost which we will reach. ...More Button

Priority Questions - Defence Forces Property.

Was asked: the cost-benefit analysis that has been undertaken regarding the potential net savings to the Exchequer arising from the planned closure of St. Bricin’s Military Hospital and four military barracks...More Button

The closure of barracks and the consolidation of the Defence Forces formations into a smaller number of locations is a key objective of the White Paper on Defence. The consolidation process is design...More Button

One of the first things I received when I came into the Ministry of Defence was a request from the military to close further barracks on the basis that peace had arrived in Northern Ireland and there ...More Button

I contest those figures. I am told that €500,000 is all that is necessary to immediately spend on the barracks to which the troops are going because there are extensive facilities available in those ...More Button

Priority Questions - Defence Forces Accommodation.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that in excess of 20 Defence Forces officers who are attending full-time third level education courses in Dublin are required to live in steel containers in...More Button

Defence Forces regulations require members to live in barracks unless they are given permission to live out. Over the years the practice has been for significant numbers of personnel to live out of b...More Button

In the various contacts I have had with elements of the military and the representative organisations, this matter has never been drawn to my attention. Nobody has mentioned it or has written to me a...More Button

I am assured by my Department that the military engineers who sourced and prepared these accommodation units are perfectly happy with them. They compare favourably with the accommodation our troops m...More Button

I accept that is a different scenario but I have been asked by my Department to convey an invitation to the Deputy to visit the barracks and to examine the units. We can discuss the issue after he ha...More Button

Has the Deputy seen them?More Button

I invite the Minister to visit the barracks.More Button

I will find that out for the Deputy. The matter has been brought to my attention by this parliamentary question. I do not have the information but I will get it to him and let him know.More Button

Other Questions - Reserve Defence Force.

Was asked: the progress that has been made on implementing the recommendation of the Reserve Defence Force implementation board report regarding the reactivation of the reserve of officers-men first line and ...More Button

The Reserve Defence Force review implementation plan provides for a phased approach to enhancing the capabilities of the reserve over the period to the end of 2009. The introduction of new RDF organi...More Button

I do not disagree with the Deputy about using the first line reserve if the integrated reserve concept does not work but, as he will be aware, the changes in the reserve were to take place over a numb...More Button

Is the Deputy referring to the first line reserve?More Button

As the House will be aware, the implementation report made various recommendations about pay and conditions, recruitment, training and the relationship between the first line reserve and the Army rese...More Button

Other Questions - Ministerial Transport.

Was asked: the cost of the recent refurbishment of the Gulfstream Government jet; the nature of the work undertaken; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Gulfstream IV entered MATS service in 1991 and has accumulated an average of 660 flying hours a year since then. It is maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommended overhaul and ma...More Button

It is important I clarify the situation for the benefit of the House. The immediate answer to the Deputy is that no major fault showed up, to the best of my knowledge. However, as the Deputy may be ...More Button

I do not know the normal number of flying hours ratcheted up during the lifetime of a jet. However, I know this jet has been put to maximum use. The wiring system and the hydraulics are under examin...More Button

I understand that, as does the Air Corps. I do not know if the Deputy is suggesting we acquire a new Government jet, which would be——More Button

That is being done.More Button

It is usual to replace the interior once every five years, or seven years at the most. It has not been replaced since 1991. The cost of a new interior, as publicly announced, is approximately €3.5 m...More Button

Other Questions - Defence Forces Equipment.

Was asked: the progress made with regard to the fitting of a roll-over protection system for troop carrying vehicles, arising from a number of recent road accidents involving Army lorries on the M50 and in Gr...More Button

Arising from an accident involving a troop carrying vehicle in Granard, County Longford in June 2007, a study group was formed to advise on the introduction of a roll-over protection system for troop ...More Button

To give Deputy O’Shea an idea of what we are dealing with, the systems for safety of trucks are in the process of being developed. Many of them are at the research and development stage. There are a...More Button

I agree with Deputy O’Shea and this is exactly what I am saying. We will lead the field in this regard. There is no one size fits all system but what is encouraging is that testing has already begun...More Button

Other Questions - Army Barracks.

I propose to take Questions Nos. 72, 74, 75, 79, 94, 116, 121, 123, 125, 130 and 132 together.More Button

Was asked: the provision that has been made for funding the provision of the additional office, living and storage accommodation at Finner Camp, Custume Barracks and Aiken Barracks required by the transfer to t...More Button

Was asked: the anticipated cost of reassigning the 650 military personnel, arising from the budget 2009 announcement of the closure of a number of military barracks and posts; and if he will make a statement on...More Button

Was asked: the budgetary costs provided for in facilitating the barracks closures announced as a result of budget 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if the personnel in those barracks that will be closed have been briefed by officials of his Department on their financial entitlements on changing stations; if such briefings are planned; when they ...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the concern expressed by members of the Defence Forces and the broader community in Donegal at the social and economic implications of the decision to close a numbe...More Button

Was asked: if recent decisions to dispose of a number of military installations throughout the country were driven by financial curtailments or if a fundamental appraisal of such installations was carried out w...More Button

Was asked: if he is satisfied that adequate accommodation will be provided for all of those members of the Defence Forces who are to be relocated by 31 January 2009, arising from the announcement made on budget...More Button

Was asked: if it is his intention to visit Donegal and meet the personnel and families of both Lifford and Rockhill Army bases who are concerned at the decision to close both; the disruption that it will inflic...More Button

Was asked: if work has started on the process of closing the four Border military posts; if the Defence Forces have a timetable in place for these closures; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if he will outline, in regard to the budget 2009 announcement, the decisions to close a number of barracks and military posts; the estimated value of each such site, including buildings; the manner i...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the concern expressed by members of the Defence Forces and the broader community in Longford at the social and economic implications of the decision to close Connol...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 72, 74, 75, 79, 94, 116, 121, 123, 125, 130 and 132 together. The military authorities have conducted a detailed review of the immediate requirements to enable the clo...More Button

I am sure Deputy McHugh is not suggesting we could make savings by leaving alone the number of barracks, even though there are clearly too many for an army the size of the Irish Army. We are closing ...More Button

I intended to address that point earlier when it was mentioned by Deputy O’Shea. Although I am certain no one in the House believes it, we cannot work on the assumption that the economy will never re...More Button

I am very pleased that my fellow Limerick colleague, Deputy Collins, mentioned the opening of Thomond Park. It was a stupendous occasion, which words cannot begin to describe. I believe Deputy Deeni...More Button

The stadium could only accommodate 14,000 people, yet 500,000 attended the game in 1978. Deputy Collins asked if someone who was re-deployed from a barracks in Monaghan to Dundalk, or someone re-deplo...More Button

The Army did a security analysis and reported to me that there were no down-side security implications. I have to take that as is. With regard to the timeframe, Deputy Deenihan will understand, as w...More Button

I have written back to PDFORRA saying I was prepared to sit down and talk, not about the substance of the decision but about how it is being implemented, and about any issues such as station allowance...More Button

I have not yet heard back from the organisation.More Button

I have not yet heard back. I have given it the opportunity to respond to me. However, if Deputy Deenihan is suggesting it, in the spirit of Christmas I will accept his suggestion that I contact PDFO...More Button

As I have told the House, a security assessment has been done by the military, which found that there would be no down-side implications. I know the military has acted as an aid to the civil power in...More Button

Deputy McGinley’s colleague, Deputy Pat the Cope Gallagher, has already made strong representations——More Button

——to me about going to Donegal and I am considering those.More Button

When I make a decision I will come back to Deputy Gallagher.More Button

Small and Medium Enterprises: Motion (Resumed).

Amendment put.
Yes IndicatorVoted Yes More Button

Question put: “That the motion, as amended, be agreed to.”
Yes IndicatorVoted Yes More Button

Finance (No. 2) Bill 2008: Second Stage (Resumed).

Question put.
Yes IndicatorVoted Yes More Button

Written Answers - Overseas Missions.

Was asked: the progress that has been made on allowing members of the Reserve Defence Forces to participate in overseas duties; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the position regarding members of the Reserve Defence Forces who wish to serve abroad; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 73 and 108 together. The organisational changes, enhancements to clothing, equipment, training and the piloting of the integrated reserve, all delivered as part of the...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Representative Associations.

Was asked: if a Defence Forces representative association was admonished by his officials or the military authorities for its response to the announcement of barracks closures; if such admonishment was administ...More Button

I am pleased to have an opportunity to clarify this matter. Representation in the Defence Forces was established under the Defence (Amendment) Act, 1990. The Act sets out the scope of representation ...More Button

Written Answers - Naval Service Operations.

Was asked: if he is satisfied that there are sufficient resources available to the Naval Service to allow it to discharge its role in regard to the prevention and interception of drug smuggling; the proportion ...More Button

Responsibility for the prevention of drug trafficking rests primarily with An Garda Síochána and the Revenue Commissioners. However, the White Paper on Defence provides for a security role for the Nav...More Button

Written Answers - Random Drug Testing Programmes.

Was asked: the number of Defence Forces personnel tested under the drug testing programme in 2007 and to date in 2008; the number and rank of those who tested positive; the type and class of drugs detected; the...More Button

Defence Force policy on drug and substance abuse or misuse is centered on the premise that the unlawful possession, supply or use of a controlled drug is incompatible with membership of the Defence Fo...More Button

Written Answers - Naval Service Operations.

Was asked: the agencies other than the Naval Service that assisted an officer of the Naval Service (details supplied) in calculating the movements and journey of a yacht (details supplied); the number of man ho...More Button

Was asked: if he will make a detailed statement on the tracking of a yacht (details supplied) that he referred to on a radio show on 6 November 2008; when he first became aware that this yacht had been tracked;...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 80 and 134 together. After the seizure of 1.5 tonnes of cocaine at Dunlough Bay in July 2007 the Naval Member of the Joint Task Force on Drug Interdiction was asked to...More Button

Written Answers - Overseas Missions.

Was asked: when he will make a decision on the extension of the Chad mission; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if it is intended to extend the mandate of the Irish contingent serving with EUFOR beyond March 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the implications for Ireland and for the Defence Forces, of the United Nations taking over direct command of the EUFOR mission in Chad and the Central African Republic; and if he will make a statemen...More Button

Was asked: if he will make a statement on the progress of the EUFOR military mission in Chad. More Button

Was asked: the number of Irish troops serving as part of the UN mandated EU mission in Chad; the nature of the duties they are undertaking; the current level of risk; if the mission has assisted displaced perso...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 81, 102, 114, 126 and 129 together. The European Union military mission to Chad and the Central African Republic, EUFOR TCHAD/RCA, established under the authority of U...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Equipment.

Was asked: if any equipment from previous barracks closures remains unpacked or in storage following the move; the range of the equipment; the barracks the equipment was moved from; the length of time the items...More Button

The use and storage of military equipment etc. is an operational matter for the Defence Forces. The military authorities have advised that it is not possible to give a detailed breakdown of storage of...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Expenditure.

Was asked: the way it is intended to achieve the 19% reduction in medical expenses projected in the Estimates for defence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The 2008 Defence Estimate included an increased provision in respect of additional medical costs related to the initial deployment by the Defence Forces to the EUFOR Chad mission. The reduction in the...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Recruitment.

Was asked: the situation for people who wish to apply to join the Defence Forces over the coming months; the situation with those who were in the process of applying in 2008 and who have been attending intervie...More Button

Was asked: the recruitment targets that had existed for 2009 prior to the announcement of financial restrictions in and as a result of budget 2009; the recruitment targets set as a result of budget 2009; and if...More Button

Was asked: the number of recruits that will be taken into the Defence Forces throughout 2008, broken down in respect of the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service; the number expected to be recruited during 2009; an...More Button

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 60 of 22 October 2008, the way in which recruitment to the Defence Forces will be rescheduled in order to meet the reduction of 3% in payroll costs; and if he wi...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 84, 93, 98 and 111 together. To date in 2008, a total of 507 recruits have been enlisted into the Permanent Defence Force. 441 were recruited to the Army and 66 to the...More Button

Written Answers - Ombudsman for the Defence Forces.

Was asked: when he will move the Ombudsman for the Defence Forces to alternative accommodation; 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 Preside...More Button

Written Answers - Decentralisation Programme.

Was asked: the position regarding the implementation by his Department of the Government decision on decentralisation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. 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. Kildare, and ...More Button

Written Answers - Naval Service Vessels.

Was asked: if he still intends to replace three naval vessels in 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. 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 and 112 together. The Naval Service provides the maritime element of the Defence Forces and has a general responsibility to meet contingent and actual maritime defe...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Operations.

Was asked: the discussions he has had with the military authorities regarding the offensive use of computer technology in military operations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Defence Forces are aware of the existence of a capability to use computer technology for offensive operations. This capability is not being developed by the Defence Forces. The use of current tech...More Button

Written Answers - National Security.

Was asked: the action he has taken to develop a pro-active approach to cyber defence at national level; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the dialogue he has engaged in and the co-operation mechanism he has set up with other states facing the same cyber risks and threats as Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 89 and 103 together. Cyber security, cyber crime and internet security represent challenges that are constantly evolving and require vigilance and appropriate response...More Button

Written Answers - Overseas Missions.

Was asked: the full extent of proposed participation by members of the Army, Navy and Air-Corps in EU or UN sponsored overseas peacekeeping or peace maintenance engagements; and if he will make a statement on t...More Button

Was asked: the number of Irish troops serving overseas; the number of troops who have served overseas in 2007 and 2008; if this number will rise or fall in 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if he will provide a breakdown of the locations of Defence Forces members who are overseas; and the number in each location. More Button

Was asked: the number of Defence Forces personnel on overseas duty under the EU or UN flag; the number of applications for such services pending; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 90, 100, 122 and 212 together. Ireland is currently contributing 736 Defence Forces personnel to 13 different missions throughout the world. Full details of all person...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Staff.

Was asked: if the authority of the Secretary General of his Department under the three year administrative budget arrangements to configure the grading of his staffing, up to and including the level of principa...More Button

In line with other Government Departments, the Administrative Budget arrangements for my Department apply only to subheads A1 to A8 of the Defence Vote. However, a substantial amount of day-to-day Def...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Reserve.

Was asked: his plans on the expansion and development of the role of the Reserve Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Reserve Defence Force Review Implementation Plan provides for the phased enhancement of Reserve Capabilities over the period to end 2009. To date there have been significant changes and the Reser...More Button

Written Answers - Control of Firearms.

Was asked: if any weapons handed in by members of the public under the Firearms (Dangerous Weapons) Order, 1972 are held in storage by the Defence Forces; if so when these were handed in; the number, nature and...More Button

An Garda Síochána have the primary responsibility for law and order, including the protection of the internal security of the State. Among the roles assigned to the Defence Forces is the provision of...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Equipment.

Was asked: if it is intended to proceed with the acquisition of new light tactical armoured vehicles for the Defence Forces; when these are expected to be acquired; and if he will make a statement on the matter...More Button

A tender competition is well advanced for the acquisition of Light Tactical Armoured Vehicles for the Defence Forces. The intention is that the LTAV will complement the Mowag Armoured Personnel Carri...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Expenditure.

Was asked: the reason, in respect of the published Estimates for the Public Service 2009, the total estimated expenditure for 2009 under the administration sub-heads for his Department, that is, those relating ...More Button

The Administration subheads of the Defence Estimate for 2009 represent a small proportion (less than 3%) of the total Estimate. Pay of the civil service staff of the Department accounts for the bulk ...More Button

Was asked: if he has explored the possibility of ending inefficient spending practices as an alternative to closing barracks. More Button

As I have said in response to many questions in this House, Defence Forces expenditure and properties are kept under constant review in terms of addressing Defence Force requirements and ensuring the ...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Reserve.

Was asked: if he is satisfied with fitness levels within the Reserve Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Members of the Reserve Defence Force undertake both paid and unpaid training on a part-time voluntary basis. Given the limited time that members of the Reserve can devote to training, the primary thru...More Button

Written Answers - Naval Service Vessels.

Was asked: the number of tenders received to date for the re-floating of the Asgard II; when a decision will be made on the possible re-floating of the vessel; the progress that has been made with regard to the...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding the recovery of the Asgard II; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the progress made in deciding to salvage the Asgard 11: the outcome to the tender process to salvage the vessel; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 104, 119 and 215 together. Allianz Plc., with which Asgard II was insured in the sum of €3.8m, has conducted a tender competition for the salvage of the vessel. The p...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Equipment.

Was asked: the procedures involved in selling off large items of disused military equipment such as aircraft, ships and APCs; if he is satisfied that the system is working effectively; and if he will make a sta...More Button

The position is that tender competitions are usually run by my Department for the disposal of major assets such as aircraft and ships when they have reached the end of their economic working lives in ...More Button

Was asked: the amount raised by the recent sale of four Air Corps AS365 helicopters; if his attention has been drawn to reports that these aircraft were subsequently sold on at a substantial profit; if he is sa...More Button

The four Dauphin helicopters, special tools and spare parts were sold following an open tender competition to Rotor Leasing Incorporated in the USA for €311,000 in October 2006. The sale of the helic...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Bodies.

Was asked: the boards or agencies for which his Department has responsibility, which it is intended to abolish or merge; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The bodies under the aegis of my Department are the Civil Defence Board, the Board of Coiste an Asgard and the Army Pensions Board. It is not my intention to abolish or merge any of these bodies.More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Property.

Was asked: when it is planned to close St. Bricin’s military hospital; his plans for the future use of the site; if the medical facilities offered at the hospital will be provided elsewhere; and if he will make...More Button

As part of the implementation of the Government decision to relocate the Defence Forces HQ under decentralisation, services currently provided by St Bricins Military Hospital will transfer to the Curr...More Button

Written Answers - Common Foreign and Security Policy.

Was asked: if he will report on Ireland’s involvement with the EU Satellite Centre; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The European Union Satellite Centre (EUSC) is an Agency of the Council of the European Union. Formerly operating as the Western European Union Satellite Centre, the EUSC was incorporated as an agency...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Expenditure.

Was asked: the number of personnel from his Department and from the Defence Forces who attended a seminar and meeting organised by his Department at a four star hotel in County Kildare on 13 November 2008; the ...More Button

The Defence Organisation conference was held on the 13th November 2008 and was attended by the senior management teams in both the Department and the Defence Forces. The focus of the conference was o...More Button

Written Answers - Overseas Missions.

Was asked: if a decision has been made as to the future participation by Ireland in the KFOR, EUFOR mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina; if it is intended to keep Irish troops there in 2009; and if he will make a...More Button

Ireland has participated in EUFOR in Bosnia and Herzegovina since December 2004, the successor mission to the Stabilisation force (SFOR) in Bosnia and Herzegovina with which Ireland had previously bee...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Estimates.

Was asked: if he will make a statement on his Department’s Estimates for 2009. More Button

The gross total allocation for my Department in 2009 is €1,061 million, comprising €852 million in the Defence Estimate and €209 million in the Army Pensions Estimate. When compared with the allocatio...More Button

Written Answers - National Monuments.

Was asked: if he will report on the recent unveiling of a national monument to members of Óglaigh na hÉireann who have died in the service of the State; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

A ceremony to mark the dedication of the “National Memorial to members of the Defence Forces who died in the service of the State” was held at Merrion Square on Saturday 8th November 2008. The ceremon...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Operations.

Was asked: the number of occasions during 2006, 2007 and to date in 2008, on which the Army bomb squad has been called out to deal with suspected explosive devices; the number of instances in each year in which...More Button

The primary responsibility for the maintenance of law and order rests with an Garda Síochána. The Defence Forces, pursuant to their role of rendering aid to the civil power, assist the Gardaí as requi...More Button

Written Answers - Commemorative Events.

Was asked: when the committee to consider plans for appropriate commemorations to mark the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising in 2016 will be convened; the reason for the delay in convening a meeting; and i...More Button

Nominations in respect of the composition of the Oireachtas Consultation Group are now complete. Arrangements are being made for a meeting of the Group to be held at an early date. The inaugural meeti...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Staff.

Was asked: the number by grade and rank of civil servants in his Department and in agencies under his control on 1 September 1995, 1 September 2000, 1 September 2005 and 1 September 2008 respectively; and if he...More Button

I have set out in the table below the number by grade and rank of civil servants in my Department and in agencies under the aegis of my Department: I am pleased to advise the House that the change and...More Button

Written Answers - Air Corps Equipment.

Was asked: if a decision has been made in regard to the replacement of the Air Corps Cessna fleet; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The issue of the replacement of the Air Corps Cessna Fleet is under consideration. The question of funding the replacement programme has to be considered in tandem with the overall equipment requireme...More Button

Written Answers - Overseas Missions.

Was asked: if he has concluded his investigation into the leasing of two helicopters. More Button

Was asked: the outcome of the investigation ordered by the Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces into the circumstances in which two Russian crewed Ukrainian owned helicopters were leased for the transporting of...More Button

Was asked: the procedures to be put in place both within his Department and in the Defence Forces to ensure that the certification difficulties with the helicopters used by Irish troops in Chad cannot recur; an...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 131, 133 and 216 together. The issue in relation to the certification of the two helicopters for use with passengers arose in September 2008 and was a regulatory, lice...More Button

Written Answers - Pension Provisions.

Was asked: the reason an additional gratuity agreed with PDFORRA and his Department on retirement from the Army was not granted to a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny; and if he will make a statement...More Button

The increased retirement gratuity mentioned by the Deputy is one of a number of improvements in superannuation arrangements that were formally agreed with PDFORRA on 24 November 2008 under the Concili...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Personnel.

Was asked: if he will support a matter (details supplied). More Button

I have dealt fully with the facts of this case as recently as last week in my reply to parliamentary Question No. 435 (Ref. 40719/08). As I stated in that reply, I am satisfied that the matter was ha...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Reserve.

Was asked: the criteria to qualify for the new gratuity payments to recruits; the reason his Department decided not to pay recruits a gratuity in December 2008; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the changes in gratuity payments to the Defence Forces; the amount that has been saved by these measures; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 198 and 199 together. The Reserve Defence Force is a part-time, voluntary organisation whose primary activity is training. Members are free to determine their own lev...More Button

Was asked: if a report is available on the survey carried out earlier in 2008 to determine the skills base available to the Permanent Defence Force among Reserve Defence Force members; when he expects members o...More Button

The survey undertaken by the military authorities was conducted in order to identify the technical, mechanical and specialist skill sets available within the Reserve and the results have been recorded...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Training.

Was asked: when suitable indoor training facilities, equipment and full-time fitness training personnel will be made available at Sarsfield Barracks, Limerick; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

My Department is engaged in an ongoing capital programme designed to modernize and enhance the training, operational and accommodation facilities available to the Defence Forces both Permanent and Res...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Equipment.

Was asked: if he will provide defibrillators for all Defence Force installations in the country; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am advised that there is a procurement programme in place to have all barracks or posts equipped with at least one defibrillator. The procurement programme is ongoing and I understand that at the m...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Personnel.

Was asked: if members of the Defence Forces will be allowed to undergo an eye test at local eye test centres rather than travelling long distances for a test; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

In cases where a member of the Defence Forces requires a refraction test for the purpose of determining his/her need for spectacles or contact lenses, the test is carried out either at St. Bricin’s Ho...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Reserve.

Was asked: the number serving in the Defence Forces Reserve; the effects that the reduction in funding from €10.49 million in 2008 to €10 million in 2009 will have on recruitment and retention; if it is his pol...More Button

The White Paper on Defence 2000 outlines the blueprint for the Reserve Defence Force (RDF) comprising approximately 12,000 personnel. This policy position has not changed. The Reserve Defence Force ...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Strength.

Was asked: the anticipated strength of the Army, Navy and Air Corps over the next five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The White Paper on Defence of February 2000 set out a figure of 10,500 personnel for the Permanent Defence Force as the strength sufficient to meet all foreseeable military requirements for the period...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Equipment.

Was asked: the extent to which it is intended or expected to upgrade military equipment in respect of each of the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The acquisition of new equipment for the Defence Forces continues to be a key focus for me as Minister for Defence. Significant investment has taken place in recent years across all facets and elemen...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Strength.

Was asked: the strength by rank and gender of the Army, Navy and Air Corps; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the number of women at senior officer level in the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 207 and 210 together. There are twenty-three (23) females at senior officer level in the Permanent Defence Force as at 31 October 2008. This consists of twenty-two (2...More Button

Written Answers - Army Barracks.

Was asked: the improvements expected to take place in the remaining military installations throughout the country in the wake of the recently announced barrack closures; and if he will make a statement on the m...More Button

In keeping with the commitments in the White Paper on Defence it is intended that the Defence Forces will continue to be modernised over the coming years. Any revenue accruing from the disposal of su...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Training.

Was asked: the extent to which the Defence Forces will continue to have ready access to training alongside the EU or UN for peace making or peacekeeping initiatives; and if he will make a statement on the matte...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, d...More Button

Written Answers - Army Barracks.

Was asked: the extent to which he has taken into account the local economic impact of the recent decision to close a number of military installations throughout the country; and if he will make a statement on t...More Button

I would anticipate that the impact on local communities will be negligible for the simple reason that most of the personnel serving in these installations live in the areas and will continue to do so ...More Button

Written Answers - Overseas Missions.

Was asked: if particular lessons have been learned from the most recent overseas deployments of the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Defence Forces continue to make major contributions to international peace keeping through its participation in overseas Peace Support Operations (PSOs). In the course of these operations and bas...More Button

Written Answers - Naval Service Operations.

Was asked: the extent to which it is intended or expected to provide additional resources to the Defence Forces with a view to increased air and sea surveillance off the coasts having particular regard to the i...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 gen...More Button


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