Dáil debates

Thursday, 18 November 2021

Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions

Defence Forces

10:40 am

Photo of Cathal BerryCathal Berry (Kildare South, Independent) | Oireachtas source

I thank the Minister for his helpful response. I appreciate his commitment to honour his previous commitment to provide clarity by 31 December, which is only a few weeks away. That commitment will be appreciated across the military community provided it is honoured, which I presume it will. The important point to remember is that this is not just about the hundreds of troops who may be mandatorily discharged next year against their will but also about the people who left yesterday and who will leave today and tomorrow because of the uncertainty of the situation. The sooner the Minister can clarify with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform the situation with regard to these people's contracts, the better.

Is the Government's commitment to maintain the level of the Defence Forces at 9,500 an aspiration? Is it the Government's stated or actual position because the numbers are hovering at around 8,500 and have not really increased in the last 18 months.


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