Killeen, Tony

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 707 No. 1

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Priority Questions - Overseas Missions.

Was asked: when he informed the United Nations officially of the decision to withdraw Defence Forces from participation in Chad; if he formally informed the United Nations of the decision prior to, or followin...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding the Irish contingent to the United Nations MINURCAT mission to the Central African Republic and to Chad. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 49 and 50 together. MINURCAT was established under the authority of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1861 of 14 January 2009 to replace the EU-led EUFOR ...More Button

I thank Deputy Deenihan for his best wishes. I had the opportunity to visit Lieutenant General Dermot Earley on two occasions and I agree with what the Deputy said. On the press reports that the Ir...More Button

I thank Deputy O’Shea for his good wishes. He has the advantage of having had the benefit of a visit to Chad. The Deputy is correct that the strength of the Chadian military has been increased. The...More Button

I assure the House that our standing with the United Nations remains high. There are strong indications that we will receive further requests for assistance from the UN. As I indicated, Irish troops...More Button

I share the Deputy’s concerns and his views on what should be done. Much would depend on the type of mandate operated by the UN. The current mission is under a Chapter VII mandate, which brings some...More Button

Priority Questions - Defence Forces Deployment.

Was asked: if he will reverse the decision to reduce by 200 the number of days that the Naval Service patrol in view of the drugs and other smuggling threat and its impact on the public and on the Exchequer; a...More Button

As part of the Estimates process for 2010, the Department sought to implement measures which would bring about the savings, or the equivalent thereof, as identified in the report of the special group ...More Button

We all share Deputy Deenihan’s concern about the impact of drugs in our society. A substantial proportion is imported by sea and unfortunately, the people involved in this business have found all sor...More Button

If we do not, I will find a way to include a bit of it in the preceding reply.More Button

I think we will reach the question, as there are only four more before it. As regards the Naval Service’s joint operations annually, in 2006 there were three operations where the Naval Service was ca...More Button

To revert to the Deputy’s original point, I agree with him that there is a deterrent value in having ships on the ocean waves and that is recognised. In practice, however, because of the nature of el...More Button

Priority Questions - Defence Forces Recruitment.

Was asked: when he will be making an announcement regarding recruitment into the Defence Forces. More Button

Was asked: when recruitment will commence for the Permanent Defence Force in view of the decline in numbers over the past year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 52 and 53 together. Within the available resources, the Government is committed to maintaining the strength of the Defence Forces at a level of 10,000 all ranks, for w...More Button

Deputy O’Shea is right in that we all have to contend with the difficulties thrown up by the current economic situation. However, as I explained in the original answer, the Department and the militar...More Button

I accept the point made by Deputy Deenihan with regard to the 2007 programme for Government. It is true that things have changed very dramatically in economic terms since then. The McCarthy report r...More Button

There would not be an appreciable saving in the event of a delay of a month or so and that should not be a consideration. Recruitment should be targeted at areas where the most immediate need arises....More Button

I agree with Deputy Deenihan that a number of people will leave and that this must be taken into account in the context of the recruitment campaign. This would give additional flexibility in areas wh...More Button

Other Questions - Defence Forces Medical Services.

Was asked: the number of recommendations of the Defence Forces Medical Services Review that remain unimplemented; the number of recommendations in the process of implementation but not yet fully implemented; t...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding the establishment of the new centralised medical corps for the Defence Forces. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 54 and 88 together. The PA report assessed the current arrangements for the provision of medical services and proposed a model for future delivery of those services. ...More Button

I will take the final point first. I agree with Deputy Deenihan that the single medical command structure with a line officer at colonel level will have a positive bearing on the quality of service p...More Button

The agreement reached at steering group level is an important development. It is very hard to ascribe a timeframe in a situation such as this where a steering group and various sub-groups are reporti...More Button

Other Questions - Defence Forces Strength.

Was asked: the outcome of the review with the military authorities into structures and posts required to meet the operational requirements of the Defence Forces in view of the decision to maintain a complement...More Button

Within the available resources, the Government is committed to maintaining the strength of the Permanent Defence Force at a level of 10,000 all ranks, for which Government approval has been secured in...More Button

I do not have information on the final question at this point. However, I will inform the Deputies as soon as that information becomes available. To the best of my recollection there are approximatel...More Button

I expect the review will be completed by the end of May, which is not a very long time away. An overall structure then needs to be agreed with the Department of Finance. The Deputy is correct that t...More Button

Other Questions - Irish Red Cross Society.

Was asked: his plans to nominate a new chairperson for the Irish Red Cross; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: his views on whether there should be an independent investigation into the governance and management of the Irish Red Cross in view of the recent negative publicity surrounding the organisation; and...More Button

Was asked: his views on the recent internal governance review of the Irish Red Cross; his further views on whether this review goes far enough in terms of addressing concerns relating to the governance and man...More Button

Was asked: the discussions that have taken place between his officials and the Irish Red Cross regarding the recent internal governance review of the Irish Red Cross; and the action he proposes to take arising...More Button

Was asked: his plans to nominate a new chairperson for the Irish Red Cross. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 56, 67, 70, 87, and 96 together. The Irish Red Cross Society is an autonomous body, established by the Irish Red Cross Society Order 1939 pursuant to the Red Cross Act...More Button

In his early sentences, Deputy Deenihan outlined the difficulty, namely, how to address a problem while at the same time staying at arm’s length and remaining within the provisions of the law, which i...More Button

That is a substantial consideration in the current economic climate. I presume the quote read out by the Deputy is a personal view of a person whom I do not know——More Button

——and with whom I would strongly disagree. I have had an opportunity to examine the record of the previous Minister, Deputy Willie O’Dea, in this regard. Frankly, I do not believe I could have done ...More Button

With regard to the question of the chair, it was not a matter that had been abandoned. Considerable work had been done by Deputy O’Dea in many areas regarding this issue, and I will not go back to th...More Button

I welcome the comments by Deputies O’Shea and Deenihan and agree with both in many respects. Ultimately, the logic of what Deputy O’Shea said in regard to State involvement cannot be argued against. ...More Button

Energy Security: Motion (Resumed).

Amendment put.
Yes IndicatorVoted Yes More Button

Written Answers - Naval Service Vessels.

Was asked: his plans for vessel replacement in the Naval Service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

A vessel replacement strategy for the Naval Service is currently in progress following the commencement of a tender competition in 2007. The competition sought tenders for the purchase of two Offshor...More Button

Written Answers - Overseas Missions.

Was asked: if the Defence Forces are likely to be redeployed to Chad in the foreseeable future; and if there are any requests from the United Nations for their deployment elsewhere. More Button

Was asked: the number of contracts received by his Department or other Departments requesting Ireland to maintain its membership of MINURCAT beyond the withdrawal timetable announced; the number of requests sug...More Button

Was asked: if he is liasing with the United Nations and or the European Union to enable participation at battalion level in peace support missions; if his attention has been drawn to the importance of such miss...More Button

Was asked: his plans for the deployment of Irish troops to overseas missions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the number of overseas locations to which Irish peacekeeping troops are currently deployed; the extent to which such deployments continue to remain of sufficient strength to enable such deployments t...More Button

Was asked: the extent, if any, to which further requests have been received through the EU and UN for Irish troop deployments and peacekeeping or other missions overseas; and if he will make a statement on the ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 58, 69, 82, 91, 180 and 181 together. In reply to earlier Priority Questions, I have dealt comprehensively with the decision by the Government on 30 March 2010 to with...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Recruitment.

Was asked: if he will consider raising the age limit for recruitment in 2010 by one year in view of the fact that there was no recruitment to the Defence Forces in 2009. More Button

The 2000 White Paper on Defence and the earlier Defence Force Review Implementation Plan both identified the requirement to address the age profile in the Defence Forces. The key element in military ...More Button

Written Answers - Commemorative Events.

Was asked: the progress reported regarding the projects relating to the 2016 commemoration of the 1916 Rising; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The All Party Oireachtas Consultation Group on the Centenary of the 1916 Rising met on Wednesday, 2 December, 2009 for discussions and site visits to Glasnevin Cemetery and the National Museum of Irel...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Equipment.

Was asked: the total value of goods or equipment purchased by the Defence Forces from Israeli companies; the steps taken before such contracts are awarded to ensure that such companies are not involved in uneth...More Button

Was asked: his views on whether the European Defence Agency code of conduct is a voluntary, non-binding agreement which involves no legal commitment and that in all cases of defence procurement final authority ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 61 and 75 together. A number of Israeli companies have won orders for defensive equipment in recent years as a result of tender competitions. Since 2005, the Departmen...More Button

Written Answers - Army Barracks.

Was asked: the number of barracks in use by the Defence Forces, Reserve Defence Force and Permanent Defence Force in April 2010; the number of unused barracks; the alternatives to sale that have been considered...More Button

The Defence property portfolio consists of a diverse range of facilities from conventional military barracks to forts, camps, dwelling houses and training lands. The principal assets are 23 permanentl...More Button

Written Answers - Army Operations.

Was asked: the number of occasions on which the Army Ordnance Corps has been called out to deal with suspicious devices during 2009 and to date in 2010; the number of cases which were actual explosive devices; ...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 requ...More Button

Was asked: if his Department has completed its calculation as to the amount owned by banks in respect of the provision of cash escorts in 2009; the sum owed; if that sum has been paid; if not, the deadline by w...More Button

Was asked: if agreement has been reached with An Post and other organisations regarding payment for security services on the same basis as the commercial banks. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 64 and 72 together. The formal five-year agreement made between the IBF, its member Banks and the Department of Defence which was signed by the Minister for Defence i...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Investigations.

Was asked: if he has received the Marine Casualty Investigation Board’s draft report on the loss of Asgard II; if so, when his Department will submit its observations on the draft; and if he will make a stateme...More Button

I wish to confirm that I have recently received a copy of the Marine Casualty Investigation Board’s Draft Report into the sinking of the sail training vessel, Asgard II. The report is currently being ...More Button

Written Answers - Search and Rescue Service.

Was asked: the role he envisages for the Air Corps regarding the Search and Rescue Helicopter Service. More Button

The Irish Coast Guard has overall responsibility for the provision of Search and Rescue, (SAR) services within the Irish Search and Rescue region. In accordance with the roles assigned to them by Gove...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Reserve.

Was asked: the 2010 programme for the Reserve Defence Force. More Button

I have been informed by the military authorities that, within the current budget, the Reserve Defence Force (RDF) programme of training for 2010 will include Unit nightly parades, weekend training fie...More Button

Was asked: the size of the Reserve Defence Force in 2007, 2008, 2009 and to date in 2010 inclusive; the percentage decline from its peak to its lowest point; if he is satisfied with the size of the Reserve Defe...More Button

The size of the Reserve Defence Force in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 (as at 31 March 2010, the latest date for which figures are available), as advised by the Military Authorities, is set out in the tab...More Button

Written Answers - Air Corps Operations.

Was asked: the role he envisages for the Air Corps regarding the servicing of the Garda helicopters. More Button

The Garda Air Support Unit (GASU) currently comprises two EC 135 helicopters and one Defender 4000 fixed-wing aircraft. Air Corps personnel have responsibility for all matters relating to the servici...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Strength.

Was asked: further to the recent decision to approve 50 promotions at senior level within the Defence Forces the number of such appointments that have been filled to date; when the outstanding posts will be fil...More Button

Resulting from the Government Decision regarding the reduction of public service numbers and the reduced budgetary provision available for 2009, recruitment, promotions and acting up appointments in t...More Button

Written Answers - Naval Service Patrols.

Was asked: his views on whether the cuts to the number of patrolling days available to the Naval Service undermines the objective of reducing the inflow of illegal drugs here; if he will seek additional funding...More Button

Was asked: the number of patrolling days undertaken by Naval Service vessels in each year from 2005 to 2009 and the planned number for 2010; if he has had discussions with the fishing industry or the customs au...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 76 and 89 together. As part of the Estimates process for 2010, the Department sought to implement measures which would bring about the savings or the equivalent thereo...More Button

Written Answers - Court Martial.

Was asked: the position regarding the investigation being carried out into an allegation that a member of the Naval Service was supplying information on patrol vessel movements to drug smugglers; and if he will...More Button

I am advised by the Military Authorities that the matter referred to was the subject of a comprehensive Military Police investigation, following which a Limited Court-Martial was convened by the Direc...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Property.

Was asked: his plans to review the restriction on any new development around Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel, County Dublin, in view of the fact that several hundred acres of land fully serviced at a significant ...More Button

Section 36 of the Defence Act 1954 provides the Minister of Defence with the authority to introduce protected area orders in respect of the vicinity of Casement Aerodrome or other military aerodrome. ...More Button

Written Answers - Overseas Missions.

Was asked: his plans for members of the Reserve Defence Force to serve overseas with the Permanent Defence Force in 2010. More Button

The Reserve Defence Force Review Implementation Plan provided for a phased development of Reserve capabilities over the period to end 2009. In line with the plan to provide opportunities for overseas ...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Strength.

Was asked: his plans regarding the future strength of the Defence Forces; his further plans to increase the numbers over the foreseeable future; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The White Paper on Defence of February 2000 sets out a figure of 10,500 personnel for the Permanent Defence Force comprising 930 for the Air Corps, 1,144 for the Naval Service and 8,426 for the Army. ...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Property.

Was asked: the progress made regarding the new military courthouse in the Curragh, County Kildare; the cost of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

A new Military Justice Centre in McKee Barracks, Dublin was completed in early 2009 at a cost of €.5m. This Centre provides court facilities for the Defence Forces and is adequate in meeting those nee...More Button

Was asked: the additional Defence Forces property sales that are planned for 2010. More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, a programme of rationalising and disposing of property which is surplus to the requirements of the Defence Forces has been on-going for a number of years. In that regard t...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Expenditure.

Was asked: his Department’s Estimate for 2010; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Like other areas of the public service, the Defence Organisation is operating on a reduced budget for 2010, the details of which are set out in the Revised Estimates Volume for 2010. The gross total ...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Strength.

Was asked: the total number of personnel who have left the Permanent Defence Force in the first quarter of 2010; the total strength of the Defence Forces. More Button

Was asked: the number of personnel who have left the Permanent Defence Force in the first quarter of 2010; the total strength of the Defence Forces. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 85 and 169 together. I am advised by the Military Authorities that as at 31 March, 2010, the latest date for which figures are available, the strength of the 87 Defenc...More Button

Written Answers - Overseas Missions.

Was asked: if he will clarify the roles of the seven Irish soldiers currently reported to be in Afghanistan. More Button

On 20 December 2001, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1386 under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, authorising the establishment of an International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)...More Button

Written Answers - Industrial Relations.

Was asked: the number of meetings he and his Department have had with the Representative Association for Commissioned Officers and the Permanent Defence Forces Other Ranks Representative Association in the past...More Button

Since my appointment as Minister for Defence I have had one meeting with PDFORRA and have also met RACO on one occasion. In the past twelve months my predecessor met with each of the Associations on...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Recruitment.

Was asked: the details of the 2010 recruitment process for personnel to bring the numbers in the Defence Forces to the required figure of 10,000 as provided for in the 2010 budget; when such recruitment will ta...More Button

Within the available resources, the Government is committed to maintaining the strength of the Defence Forces at a level of 10,000 all ranks, for which Government approval has been secured in the cont...More Button

Written Answers - Court of Inquiry Report.

Was asked: if the director of legal services has concluded his consideration of the report of the court of inquiry into the accident at Kilworth Camp, County Cork, in June 2009 when an officer was seriously inj...More Button

The report is still being considered by the Director of the Defence Forces Legal Services. The matter is the subject of ongoing correspondence between the Director and the General Officer Commanding (...More Button

Written Answers - Army Equitation School.

Was asked: the 2010 programme for the Army equitation school. More Button

The mission of Army Equitation School, as assigned to it on its establishment in 1926, is to promote the Irish horse abroad through participation in international competition. In 2010, the Equitation ...More Button

Written Answers - Naval Service Vessels.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the posting of detailed information on the Internet about the movements of Naval Service vessels could be used by drug importers or others involved in...More Button

The Naval Service does not post ship movements on the internet. However, when a Naval vessel passes close to land or enters a port, on occasion its presence may be posted on the port’s internet websit...More Button

Written Answers - Court Martial.

Was asked: the number of court martial that took place during 2006 to 2010, inclusive; the number ongoing at present; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Court martial were not held between December 2005 and September 2008 as the principal piece of legislation governing the Defence Forces court martial system, the Defence Act 1954, was being amended to...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Funding.

Was asked: the level of funding by the State of the Representative Association for Commissioned Officers, RACO, and the Permanent Defence Forces Other Ranks Representative Association, PDFORRA; the number of st...More Button

PDFORRA receive an annual subvention of €68,568. The figure can be broken down as follows — Accommodation €43,172, Postage and Telephone expenses €25,396. RACO are provided with serviced office ac...More Button

Written Answers - Military Archives.

Was asked: the progress made regarding the location of a more suitable premises for the military archives; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Military Archives, located at 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 unde...More Button

Written Answers - Navigation Systems.

Was asked: his views on whether jammers available for purchase via the Internet pose a security threat to global positioning system navigation systems at sea; his further views on the potential scale of this th...More Button

I would like to advise the Deputy that as Minister for Defence, the issue of jammers and their potential threat to Global Positioning System, (GPS), navigation systems at sea does not come under my re...More Button

Written Answers - Naval Service Patrols.

Was asked: the tasks carried out by the Naval Service within the revised patrol patterns for the first quarter of 2010. More Button

As part of the Estimates process for 2010, the Department sought to implement measures which would bring about the savings or the equivalent thereof as identified in the Report of the Special Group on...More Button

Written Answers - Overseas Missions.

Was asked: the advice available to him, his Department and the international community prior to withdrawal of peacekeeping forces from the western Balkans; if due regard has been given to the ongoing needs in t...More Button

Since the late 1990’s, the Defence Forces have participated in peace support operations in the Western Balkans through their troop presence in the UN mandated NATO-led KFOR mission in Kosovo and in t...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Recruitment.

Was asked: if he will raise the age limit for recruitment to the Defence Forces in 2010 by one year in view of the fact that there was no recruitment in 2009. More Button

The 2000 White Paper on Defence and the earlier Defence Force Review Implementation Plan both identified the requirement to address the age profile in the Defence Forces. The key element in military l...More Button

Written Answers - National Emergency Plan.

Was asked: the chain and sequence of command and operational structures governing the national emergency plan; the way in which such plans are likely to be activated in the future; the sequence of events leadin...More Button

Emergency plans are in place for a number of specific emergency scenarios such as an influenza pandemic or a nuclear incident. As the Deputy will be aware, emergency planning in this country is develo...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Property.

Was asked: the cost of using private security firms to secure Defence Force’s barracks each year for the last three years. More Button

My Department does not employ any private security firm to secure barracks occupied by the Defence Forces. However, private firms have, on occasion, been used to secure property that has been vacated ...More Button

Was asked: the number of army overholders; the extent to which negotiations are taking place or have taken place with local authorities with a view to meeting the housing requirements of such persons; and if he...More Button

There were 54 military properties overheld at 31 December 2009. Of these 54, agreements are in place with 11 of the occupants to purchase the properties as they are located outside of barracks. Nego...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Strength.

Was asked: the optimum strength of each of the Defence Forces at present and in the future; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: his plans for the strength of each of the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 174 and 179 together. The White Paper on Defence of February 2000 sets out a figure of 10,500 personnel for the Permanent Defence Force comprising 930 for the Air Corp...More Button

Was asked: the number of officers by rank and gender throughout the Defence Forces; the extent, if any, to which such numbers have fluctuated in recent years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The following tabular statements provide a breakdown of the number of officers serving in the Permanent Defence Force on the basis of both rank and gender for each of the years 2007, 2008 and 2009, an...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Equipment.

Was asked: the number and category of aircraft available to the air corps; the extent to which training, equipment and technology is comparable to that of other such forces; and if he will make a statement on t...More Button

There are a total of 27 aircraft in operational service with the Air Corps at present, comprising 10 helicopters and 17 fixed wing aircraft. The types of the aircraft are set out in the following tab...More Button

Was asked: the extent, if any, to which military equipment including vehicles, vessels, planes, technology and or military hardware are upgrading or likely to be upgraded on an annual basis in the future; and i...More Button

There has been very significant investment in equipment for the Defence Forces in recent years covering the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service. The acquisition of new equipment for the Defence Forces w...More Button

Written Answers - Defence Forces Strength.

Was asked: the number of positions to be filled at all ranks throughout the Defence Forces at the present time; the length of time such posts have been vacant; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Government is committed to maintaining the strength of the Defence Forces at a level of 10,000 all ranks, for which Government approval has been secured in the context of Budget 2010. This reflect...More Button


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