Written answers

Wednesday, 2 March 2022

Photo of Patricia RyanPatricia Ryan (Kildare South, Sinn Fein)
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121. To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his plans to award a pandemic service medal to members of the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11925/22]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, a Joint Task Force was established to coordinate the Defence Forces contribution to the whole-of-Government Covid-19 response. A wide range of supports have since been provided by the Defence Forces to the HSE as well as to other Departments and Agencies, including support to the ongoing vaccination programme.  Currently the focus remains on dealing with the ongoing Recovery phase.

As the Deputy is aware, medals are awarded to members of the Defence Forces in line with Defence Force Regulation (DFR) A9, which sets out the qualifying criteria, delineates the procedures required for the awarding of Defence Forces Medals and sets out the various types of medal awards. Currently there are no plans to amend DFR A9 in relation to the introduction of new medals and the question of issuing a medal to Defence Forces personnel engaged in aid-to-the-civil-authority operations in conjunction with the Health Service Executive or in Operation FORTITUDE, the Defence Forces response to the Covid-19 pandemic, is not under consideration at this point in time.


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