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Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Defence Forces (28 Jun 2022)

Éamon Ó Cuív: I will not delay the Minister in asking the question because he has been asked it already tonight. It is about the Commission on the Defence Forces and when decisions will be made on the recommendations of the commission. The Minister might let us in as to which option he will go for.

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Defence Forces (28 Jun 2022)

Simon Coveney: I would love to give Deputy Ó Cuív a load of detail on that but I probably owe it to my Cabinet colleagues to tell them first. All I can say to him is that I have given a commitment to bring to the Government recommendations from the commission report in the month of June. We are at the end of June now, so that will be done very shortly - next week, I hope. If, however, we cannot...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Defence Forces (28 Jun 2022)

Éamon Ó Cuív: Does the Minister accept that the Defence Forces have lost skills in recent years because people have left the Defence Forces due to the unattractive wages or salaries and conditions? Will the Minister make sure that that issue is addressed when decisions are being made on the commission's report? Also, is any consideration being given to having a second naval port, a subsidiary one, along...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Defence Forces (28 Jun 2022)

Bernard Durkan: My question, No. 89, is similar to Deputy Ó Cuív's. Have the Defence Forces been kept informed of progress in order to ensure that they recognise that the report is about them and for them and that it is intent on coming to conclusions on the issue before the end of this Dáil session?

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Defence Forces (28 Jun 2022)

Simon Coveney: As for the consultation on this, I have been to virtually every barracks in the country and have asked the Defence Forces to put a balanced selection of people into a room with me. I have taken questions for a couple of hours in most cases. That includes Donegal, Galway, Cork, Athlone, Dublin and the Curragh. We have met as many Defence Forces personnel as we possibly can to explain to...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Defence Forces (28 Jun 2022)

Éamon Ó Cuív: The Minister talked about money and the need to save it. One item of expenditure I understand it is recommended to do away with in the commission report is the need for a military presence at the E wing of Portlaoise Prison. That is costing €2.74 million. There are 12 prisoners there. The vast majority of them are due out within two years; in fact, some are due out before the end...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Defence Forces (28 Jun 2022)

Bernard Durkan: Will the conclusions be announced and endorsed by the Government by the end of this Dáil session - in other words, before the summer recess?

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Defence Forces (28 Jun 2022)

Simon Coveney: "Yes" is the straight answer to that question. I hope that that will happen well in advance of our breaking up in a few weeks' time. I do not believe that it is either justifiable or necessary for the Defence Forces to have the presence they have in Portlaoise Prison indefinitely. My view is that the Defence Forces should be phased out of Portlaoise Prison but, of course, we have to...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Naval Service (28 Jun 2022)

David Stanton: Does the Minister have an exact date for when the LÉ Eithnewill finally be taken out of service? Which of the vessels will be designated as the flagship vessel for the Naval Service? When does the Minister expect to finalise decisions with respect to the future of the LÉ Eithne, whether it will become a floating museum, visitors' attraction or whatever?

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Naval Service (28 Jun 2022)

Simon Coveney: There has been no expression of interest from the Ukraine Government in terms of a government-to-government transfer of these vessels between Ireland and Ukraine. It simply has not come up. There has been an expression of interest from elsewhere, which we are looking at, but there is no final decision yet. If we were to share those vessels with Ukraine, I do not think it would undermine...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Defence Forces (28 Jun 2022)

Defence Forces

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Defence Forces (28 Jun 2022)

Jennifer Carroll MacNeill: 76. To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the work-life balance measures that are being considered by his Department to make the Defence Forces a more family-friendly environment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33633/22]

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Defence Forces (28 Jun 2022)

Neale Richmond: I ask this question on behalf of Deputy Carroll MacNeill. What measures are being considered by the Department to make the Defence Forces a more family-friendly environment?

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Defence Forces (28 Jun 2022)

Simon Coveney: That is a very good question. I am advised by the military authorities that there is an ongoing programme of HR development within the Defence Forces, part of which is aimed at ensuring that, where at all possible, there is an appropriate work-life balance for its members. The Defence Forces have piloted new work-life balance initiatives, including reviewing how career courses are...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Defence Forces (28 Jun 2022)

Neale Richmond: I thank the Minister for his detailed reply. I have no doubt he could provide much more detail and perhaps he will in due course by way of a supplementary response. Deputy Carroll MacNeill has asked me to focus on one or two areas, to which the Minister has alluded. First, remote working is not realistically going to be practical considering the nature of the work members of the Defence...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Defence Forces (28 Jun 2022)

Simon Coveney: Honestly, we are looking at all of these matters. One of the possibilities for the next few years, on the back of the commission report, is that we will see a radical restructuring of the Defence Forces, in particular the Army. We will see a new Army headquarters, a new defence headquarters, a new structure headed up by a chief of defence for the first time in Ireland. Senior decision...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Defence Forces (28 Jun 2022)

Neale Richmond: I agree with the Minister that there are extremely exciting times ahead for our Defence Forces. The report of the Commission on the Defence Forces provides so many avenues, not just in terms of operational capacity but in terms of structural reform. The Minister mentioned the position of head of transformation, and we need to learn from the lessons that have sadly worried us in terms of the...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Naval Service (28 Jun 2022)

Naval Service

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Naval Service (28 Jun 2022)

James O'Connor: 75. To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the plans that are in place for the future use of the LÉ Eithne; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34198/22]

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Naval Service (28 Jun 2022)

John Brady: 81. To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the plans that his Department has for the proper disposal of a number of vessels from the Naval Service fleet which have come to the end of their service life and are due to be decommissioned; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34173/22]

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