Dáil debates

Thursday, 1 February 2007

4:00 pm

Photo of Willie O'DeaWillie O'Dea (Limerick East, Fianna Fail)

I accept the Deputy's comments but the military authorities have concluded that these circumstances, however harrowing and difficult they may be for the individuals involved, are not sufficient to warrant the award of a medal for gallantry under the relevant criteria. However, I do not wish to pre-empt any discussion I have with Mr. Fitzpatrick or anybody else Deputy Costello wishes me to meet. Mr. Fitzpatrick's public representatives can make their own case to me on a one-to-one basis and I would be happy to listen.

It would not be good practice to refer matters arising from Colonel Behan's report to the Chief of Staff, given that he appointed the colonel because he was eminently suitable and qualified to carry out this inquiry. He carried it out to the best of his ability. He is an outstanding military officer and a person of the highest integrity. I am disposed to accepting the conclusions and recommendations in his report.


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