Dáil debates

Thursday, 18 November 2021

Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions

Defence Forces

11:10 am

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I said earlier that I am meeting PDFORRA next week but it is actually the veterans' organisations I am meeting next week. However, I will meet PDFORRA in the coming weeks. I want to clarify that.

The issue the Deputy has raised is a legitimate one. People need certainty and I have said that I would try to give them that certainty before the end of the year. I hope we will have a sensible outcome that is good for the Defence Forces and for numbers. I hope that outcome can provide clarity and make sense in terms of age profile, fitness and so on across the Defence Forces. We can do that and the report I have seen has recommendations that make sense to me but we have to conclude that process and that process involves another Department.

I have an open mind on affiliation with ICTU and I have always had an open mind on that. I also need to ensure that the other factors we need to take account of are fully addressed. As I have said to PDFORRA, it is difficult to talk through some of those issues with it while there is an ongoing court case. I have said that, but I look forward to further engaging with PDFORRA on this issue.


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