Thursday, 10 November 2011
Department of Justice, Equality and Defence
Question 154: To ask the Minister for Defence the reason for limiting the applicability of the Military Star to members of the Defence Forces killed outside the State; and if a person (details supplied) in County Leitrim will be considered for a posthumous award. [33884/11]
The Military Star was inaugurated on 10 September 1998. The Military Star is awarded posthumously to personnel of the Defence Forces who gave up their lives as a result of a hostile action or act in the course of service outside the State on approved military duties overseas. The Military Star was introduced 40 years after the first deployment overseas of Defence Forces personnel in 1958. Under the existing provisions of Defence Force Regulations, members of the Defence Forces who died in service in the course of service outside the State on approved military duties overseas on or after 28 June 1958 are eligible for the award of the medal. In 2008 a Medals Review Group, comprising representatives of both the Department of Defence and the Defence Forces, was established to conduct a comprehensive review of medals awarded to members of the Defence Forces, at home and overseas. One of the recommendations of the Report of this Group was "that the award of the Military Star medal be extended to members who died in service at home as a direct result of hostile action or act perpetrated by an enemy, opposing armed force, hostile belligerent or other party involving the use of firepower or other lethal weapon, while on approved military duties."
Work is ongoing in both the Department and the Defence Forces to draft the necessary amendments to Defence Force Regulations to give effect to the recommendations of the Report of the Medals Review Group, including that relating to the Military Star. Work in this regard is at an advanced stage and once it is complete consideration can be given to the specific case referred to by the Deputy.