Irish Examiner View: Irish Defence Forces undermanned

Irish Examiner View: Irish Defence Forces undermanned
Irish UN peacekepers

This week, Ireland won a seat on the 15-member United Nations Security Council, when we secured the 128 votes needed to win a two-year, non-permanent seat. 

That decision was, in part, a recognition of our long and proud commitment to UN peacekeeping missions. Our capacity to support those humanitarian missions comes ever more into question.

The army is grossly undermanned, the aer corps is dangerously under-resourced, too.

Navy sources, yesterday, gave details of the limitations imposed on that arm of our Defence Forces. 

A year after it was forced to mothball two hugely expensive ships because there were no crew to man them, the possibility of a third being tied up has become very real. 

Naval service strength has fallen below 880 — smaller than an active, urban GAA club. It should be 1,094.

Not only is this reckless, it is stupid. 

The Irish Defence Forces will never be involved in an offensive action, but that does not mean we should leave ourselves as vulnerable as we are now. 

Resolving this dangerous neglect may not seem a priority, but, in the cold light of day, it must be.

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