PDForra has reacted angrily after some of its Naval Service delegates were refused permission by military management to attend the association's annual delegate conference.
PDForra president, Mark Keane, said the decision is "stifling representation", and that his association will be raising the matter in the coming days with the country's most senior military commanders.
Mr Keane said management would have been informed “weeks ago” that the delegates were needed at the conference, so that replacements could be found to carry out their duties.
He said one delegate was unavoidably detained because of sea trials, which they accept.
However, he added that three others are doing land-based duties at the naval base and should have been easily replaced.
News of the issue started to break amongst delegates attending the conference in Tullow, County Carlow on Monday night.
Calls were made that night and again this morning to try and get them released from the base, but to no avail.
Mr Keane, a Petty Officer in the Naval Service, said the non appearance of his colleagues is totally unacceptable: “It is denying representation. This is a decision-making body and the conference is where we make policy decisions and discuss motions.
"We would have notified military management weeks ago. It is a time-honoured tradition that we do this so there is a smooth transition of personnel to cover their (delegates) absence."
He said that when PDForra was founded 1990 and still in its infancy, military management would delay the release from duty of delegates so they couldn't attend all of the conference.
"That was deliberately done to frustrate the workings of the association," he added.
“I thought we had come a long way since then and we certainly don't want to go back to those days.”