- Call comes as morale and personnel numbers reach crisis levels
Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan and Chair of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Defence, Brendan Smith TD, has called on the Government to resource adequately the Permanent Defence Forces in view of the very low morale and unprecedented crisis in retaining personnel.
Deputy Brendan Smith told today’s Committee meeting that the presentation by the Representative Association of Commissioned Officers (RACO) at the meeting painted a very bleak picture of the situation at all ranks in the Permanent Defence Forces and the loss of experienced and skilled personnel was damaging the capacity of the Forces to carry out their important work.
Deputy Smith commented, “During the period of the Troubles on this island our Army and An Garda Síochána had to deal with serious subversion elements and society needs Defence Forces with adequate personnel and modern equipment to carry out their important duties.
“We all take pride in the work that Army personnel have done over the decades in international peacekeeping duties and that work has enhanced considerably Ireland’s international reputation.
“The Government can no longer ignore the pleadings of representative organisations, former officers and families in relation to the need to have proper recruitment and retention policies and adequate pay and conditions for all personnel.
“The continued loss of experienced personnel with their corporate knowledge and expertise must be halted if the Permanent Defence Forces are to retain the capacity to carry out their important functions on behalf of our State,” concluded Deputy Smith.