Army wives to protest at Dáil

An organisation set up to lobby for better pay and conditions in the Defence Forces is to hold a 24-hour protest outside the Dáil to highlight how army, navy, and air corps personnel get less than €20 for doing 24-hour security duties at military installations.

Wives and Partners of the Defence Forces (WPDF) is hoping that hundreds, if not thousands, of people will support its protest, which will take place on November 30.

WPDF members decided to take the action, having being angered by the the recent budget. The budget offered next to nothing to the Defence Forces, who are the most poorly paid, by far, of all the public services.

Many receive so little in wages that they are in receipt of family income supplement (FIS).

WPDF was also angered that Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, who is the senior minister in charge of the Defence Forces, is to get a pay increase of €21,000 over three years.

Last April, the organisation held protests at all the country’s military installations to highlight pay and conditions endured by enlisted members of the Defence Forces.

They have highlighted the fact that the reorganisation of the Defence Forces, in 2012, led to the disbandment of one brigade and that many of its former members now have to travel huge distances to work at other military installations.

As a result, a number of them can’t afford to return home on a daily basis and sleep in cars overnight.

Meanwhile, it has also been claimed that young sailors stationed at the Naval Service headquarters, in Haulbowline, Cork, cannot afford soaring rents in the area and that they are sleeping onboard ships during their days off.

WPDF said that, in the coming days, it will issue further information about organising travel from around the country to Dublin.

It is also asking former members of the Defence Forces, and their families, to take part in the protest.

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