Thursday, 18 July 2013
Department of Defence
Defence Forces Properties
18. To ask the Minister for Defence if he is satisfied that he is likely to be in a position to ensure the retention of all existing military installations throughout the country, notwithstanding commitments entered into with the Troika; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35716/13]
The Defence property portfolio is kept under review to ensure the most effective use of military resources having regard to the roles assigned by Government to the Defence Forces. The Department has been engaged on an ongoing programme of barrack consolidation since 1998. This programme has brought the number of barracks closed during that time to fourteen. In addition to the main barracks a number of other smaller properties have also been identified as surplus to military requirements. Some of these have already been disposed of whilst others are in the process of being prepared for disposal. These mainly consist of married quarters and Reserve Defence Force premises. Earlier this year, as part of the reorganisation of the Reserve Defence Force, a number of additional properties became surplus to requirements and these will also be disposed of.
The consolidation of the Defence Forces formations into a smaller number of locations is a key objective in the ongoing defence modernisation programme and has been recommended in many reports over the past number of years. Notwithstanding this, the overall priority is to ensure that the operational capacity of the Defence Forces is maintained to the greatest extent possible.
As the Deputy is aware I have indicated to the House previously there are no plans for further barrack closures.