Written answers

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Photo of Pauline TullyPauline Tully (Cavan-Monaghan, Sinn Fein)
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238. To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of vacant promotions positions waiting to be filled in the Defence Forces as of 4 October 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49473/21]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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The table below outlines the variance between current strength and the establishment strength, by rank, within Permanent Defence Force as at 31st August 2021, the latest date for which such information is available.

Vacancies, where current strength is less than the establishment strength, are filled on an ongoing basis in line with promotional arrangements and, in certain cases, direct entry competitions and re-entry of ex PDF personnel. A number of initiatives are being implemented to counter current staffing challenges and these will play a role in restoring and retaining capacity and boosting specialist numbers.

It is normal, at a particular point in time, for some ranks to be oversubscribed and others to be undersubscribed. For example, whilst there are vacancies at the rank of Captain, as can be seen in the table below, there are currently substantially more Lieutenants than are provided for in the establishment.

Rank Strength In Excess of Establishment Strength Under Establishment (Vacancies)
Lt Gen At Establishment Strength -
Maj Gen At Establishment Strength -
Brig Gen At Establishment Strength -
Col 1 -
Lt Col - -4
Comdt 14 -
Capt - -110
Lt 136 -
Sgt Maj - -3
BQMS - -1
CS - -12
CQMS - -4
Sgt - -293
Cpl - -349
Private - -383
Cadet 58

Photo of Kieran O'DonnellKieran O'Donnell (Limerick City, Fine Gael)
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239. To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if paid leave is provided to compensate for the period following overseas Army assignments abroad, independent of the normal annual leave entitlement of Army personnel; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49523/21]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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Special leave on return from overseas service is governed by Paragraph 17 of Defence Force Regulations A. 11 (New Series) Leave, which specifies that -

Special leave with pay and allowances may be granted to a member of the Permanent Defence Force on his or her return from service outside the State with an International United Nations Force, as defined in the Defence (Amendment) Act 2006, on the basis of 6 days in respect of each calendar month of external service from the first day of the month in which the period of external service commenced to the first day of the month on which the period of external service ceased, subject to a maximum of 30 days in respect of the period of external service involved.

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