Dáil debates

Thursday, 10 March 2022

Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions

Defence Forces

9:20 am

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

That information is a topic of discussion. When I was in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, UNIFIL, the last time, we had a number of conversations on mandatory selection, that is, where people are asked to serve overseas when they have not volunteered to do so. That is because there are pinch points with skill sets and specialists that are needed for overseas missions. That is not an ideal situation and is why, from a recruitment and retention perspective, we must increase the numbers in the Defence Forces overall but also increase specialties in certain areas. There may be a role for the Reserve Defence Force in this space as well, as within it we have significant skill sets that can perhaps plug some of the holes for overseas missions if we have a skill set shortage in a certain area. We would like not to have to ask people to serve overseas on a mandatory basis but in the short term that is necessary for maintaining the operability of some of those missions.


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