Dáil debates

Thursday, 10 March 2022

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions

Defence Forces

10:20 am

Photo of John LahartJohn Lahart (Dublin South West, Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

I want to give the Minister the opportunity to demonstrate that. I was fortunate enough in a previous career to see at first hand some of the work our Defence Forces do, much of which goes unsung. The piece I witnessed was in their UN capacity, redrawing and actually plotting out the border between Ethiopia and Eritrea. One of the issues I have found is that the public has no comprehension of the range of duties and functions the Defence Forces carry out. I have never encountered a finer body of men and women.

The commission suggested there were issues of frustration around career progression, pensions and extension of contractual service. The Minister might speak about the extension of contractual service and the lack of flexibility within the establishment. I will not come back in a second time so he may use all the time for this. Many of us know, as public representatives, that when people retire from the Defence Forces, the roles they take up in the private sector or other services are vital. Clearly, they still have much to give.


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