Written answers

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Department of Justice, Equality and Defence

Defence Forces Reserve

5:00 pm

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Fianna Fail)
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Question 18: To ask the Minister for Defence the number and percentage of non Irish nationals enlisted and serving in the Reserve Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27619/07]

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Fianna Fail)
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Question 46: To ask the Minister for Defence the number of non-Irish nationals who, in the past three years have applied for enlistment to the Reserve Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27618/07]

Photo of Tom KittTom Kitt (Minister of State (Government Chief Whip), Department of An Taoiseach; Minister of State, Department of Defence; Dublin South, Fianna Fail)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 18 and 46 together.

Currently, there are eight non-Irish nationals serving in the Reserve Defence Force, equating to approximately point one percent ( .1%) of strength.

The number of non-Irish nationals who have applied for enlistment in the Reserve Defence Force during the past three years is fifty-four (54).

There has been a significant broadening of cultural and ethnic diversity in Ireland in recent years. It is the Minister's policy that the Defence Forces should be reflective of this diversity. The Defence Forces have clear strategies on equality that will ensure that cultural and ethnic diversity is respected and supported.

The Minister has asked the Chief of Staff to review recruitment into the Defence Forces at all levels and to implement changes that would facilitate recruitment from among cultural and ethnic minorities. I share the view that this can only enhance our Defence Forces.

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