Army reserves at just a third of full strength

Army reserves at just a third of full strength

The country's second line of defence has been depleted to such an extent the Army's Reserve is now nearly a third of its proper strength and association which represents them says Minister for Defence, Simon Coveney, needs to address this as a matter of urgency.

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Simon Coveney briefed on manpower issues at Haulbowline naval base

Simon Coveney briefed on manpower issues at Haulbowline naval base

Defence Minister Simon Coveney made his first official trip in his new role to the Naval Service's base at Haulbowline Island, Co Cork where he was briefed on manpower issues and attended a commissioning ceremony for new officers.

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PDForra not backing independent pay review model for military

PDForra not backing independent pay review model for military

PDForra, which represents more than 6,000 enlisted personnel in the Defence Forces, has broken ranks with officers' association, RACO, and is not advocating the setting up of an independent pay review body for the country's military.

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Defence forces group PDForra lodges High Court case to allow Ictu link

Defence forces group PDForra lodges High Court case to allow Ictu link

The association which represents the country's frontline Defence Forces has lodged papers in the High Court in an attempt to force the government to allow it affiliate with the umbrella union group Ictu.

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RACO says Defence Forces cannot wait three years for pay review completion

RACO says Defence Forces cannot wait three years for pay review completion

The Defence Forces are suffering from “review fatigue” and can't wait another 36 months for an Independent Pay Review Body to find the obvious - improved wages are the only way to stop the increasing exodus of personnel.

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Call for Coveney to address naval service manpower crisis

Call for Coveney to address naval service manpower crisis

Tánaiste Simon Coveney, who is taking control at the Department of Defence, says one of his immediate priorities in the role will be to address the manpower crisis in the Naval Service.

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Col. Dorcha Lee: Big shock awaits Simon Coveney TD when he returns to Defence

Col. Dorcha Lee: Big shock awaits Simon Coveney TD when he returns to Defence

When the new Minister for Defence, Simon Coveney TD, returns to the Department he left four years ago, he will be shocked to see the extent to which the Defence Forces (DF) has fallen into decline.

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Not one former Defence Forces member re-inducted after Covid-19 recruitment drive

Not one former Defence Forces member re-inducted after Covid-19 recruitment drive

Three months after a new recruitment drive was unveiled to entice former members of the Defence Forces to rejoin, not one of the 646 applicants is back in uniform.

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Secretary-general of defence forces not required to have military qualifications for €200k role

Secretary-general of defence forces not required to have military qualifications for €200k role

The criteria for the €200k per year job as secretary-general of the Department of Defence did not require any military, security, or international qualifications.

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Irish Examiner View: Irish Defence Forces undermanned

Irish Examiner View: Irish Defence Forces undermanned

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.

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RACO says Defence Forces can't wait for pay commission

RACO says Defence Forces can't wait for pay commission

The association representing the country's military officers says the Defence Forces cannot wait more than a year for the completion of yet another report on its future and steps must be taken in the meantime to appoint an independent pay commission.

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Defence Forces recruitment hampered by Covid-19

Defence Forces recruitment hampered by Covid-19

The recruitment of Defence Forces personnel has been severely impacted by Covid-19, the Defence Minister has admitted.

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Letter to the Editor: Civilian control of defence is democratic

A number of former officers of the Irish Defence Forces (including Dorcha Lee and Ray Cawley) have very justifiably criticised the present depleted condition of our Defence Forces and the manner that recent governments have treated our serving soldiers, and I agree with their concerns.

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Letter to the Editor: Appoint Cathal Berry as Minister for Defence

Letter to the Editor: Appoint Cathal Berry as Minister for Defence

As a former classmate and colleague of Dorcha Lee, I subscribe fully to the issues he raised concerning the abysmal state of the Defence Forces of this country — ‘Call to halt depletion of Defence Forces‘ (Irish Examiner, May 27). It gladdened me to also read the editorial comment of this newspaper.

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Defence Forces officers have 'lost faith' in government

Defence Forces officers have "lost faith" in government

The association representing Defence Forces officers says it has lost faith in the government's willingness to address the retention and recruitment crisis and declared the government's promise of a suite of reports to fix it as “a whitewash.”

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Irish Examiner View: By letting Defence Force run down we invite catastrophe

Irish Examiner View: By letting Defence Force run down we invite catastrophe

Even if it is instinctive to hope for the best in most situations, there can be a very fine line between optimism and delusion. Optimism can be an indirect expression of fear simply because circumstances seem almost beyond control.

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Call to halt depletion of Defence Forces

Call to halt depletion of Defence Forces

The next government must draw up a six-point plan to reinvigorate the ever-depleting Defence Forces, which are now at their lowest strength for more than 50 years, a former senior army officer has urged.

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Ex-Army officer calls for special commission to examine Defence Forces issues

Ex-Army officer calls for special commission to examine Defence Forces issues

A special commission should be set up to examine all aspects of the Defence Forces and a senior minister appointed to run the Department of Defence.

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New mission for Defence Forces in Med approved by Cabinet

New mission for Defence Forces in Med approved by Cabinet

The Government has approved the deployment of up to three Permanent Defence Force personnel to a new EU operation in the Mediterranean.

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Irish troops in Lebanon given June return dates

Irish troops in Lebanon given June return dates

Irish troops serving on a UN peacekeeping mission in Lebanon have been given return dates.

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Defence helicopter door ‘detaches’ and lands in school grounds

Defence helicopter door ‘detaches’ and lands in school grounds

The rear door of an Emergency Aeromedical Service helicopter fell away while returning to Casement Aerodrome.

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New Cork build puts stop to off-duty sailors sleeping on ships

New Cork build puts stop to off-duty sailors sleeping on ships

Work will start next year on building a new accommodation block at the naval service headquarters in Haulbowline Island, Cork, with the aim of bringing an end to the regular occurrence of up to 80 sailors sleeping on ships on their days off.

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Former senior officer claims army pair have been 'abandoned' in DRC

Former senior officer claims army pair have been 'abandoned' in DRC

A former senior Irish Army officer has claimed two serving colleagues “have been completely abandoned” after the Department of Defence was unable to say what progress it's making in trying to airlift them out of an increasingly volatile Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

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Purchase of military plane could cost country €10m

Purchase of military plane could cost country €10m

The Government is looking at buying a military aircraft.

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Forces’ medicine use could face challenge in legal actions

Forces’ medicine use could face challenge in legal actions

The Defence Forces feared new medical instructions on the use of anti-malaria medicines by troops would be used in legal actions being taken by serving and former soldiers over side effects from the drug Lariam.

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UN directive leaves Defence Forces facing delay in coming home

UN directive leaves Defence Forces facing delay in coming home

Nearly 400 Irish troops on overseas peacekeeping duty face uncertainty about when they will be able to return home after the UN suspended all movement of its forces until June 30 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Defence Forces enter €130,000 deal to randomly drug test members - hair samples to be used for first time

Defence Forces enter €130,000 deal to randomly drug test members - hair samples to be used for first time

The Defence Forces is to spend €130,000 on random drug testing of its members and involve tests through hair samples from defence force members for the first time.

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Investigation after bag suspected to contain cocaine found at Baldonnel airbase

Investigation after bag suspected to contain cocaine found at Baldonnel airbase

Military Police Corps detectives are trying to find out what the substance in the bag is and how it got there.

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Reserve Defence Forces will have full-time jobs protected if called up for first time

Reserve Defence Forces will have full-time jobs protected if called up for first time

For the first time in their history members of the Reserve Defence Forces will have their full-time jobs protected if they are called up to reinforce the regulars during times of emergency, such as the current Covid-19 pandemic.

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Defence Forces pay tribute to health workers on the 'frontline' fighting coronavirus

Defence Forces pay tribute to health workers on the 'frontline' fighting coronavirus

"But I am most proud to be the husband of a nurse who, along with her colleagues in the HSE, will be on the frontline at the national effort against coronavirus."

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Naval manpower crisis worsens with shortages in many ranks

Naval manpower crisis worsens with shortages in many ranks

The Naval Service manpower crisis is worsening and the service has haemorrhaged a large number of experienced NCOs (non-commissioned officers), who are the backbone of the force.

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Significant rise in covert bugging by Defence Forces

Significant rise in covert bugging by Defence Forces

The sharp rise in spying by the Defence Forces is due to “enhanced intelligence” from a number of sources, an oversight report said.

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Soldiers providing Shannon flood relief get €1.85 an hour in overtime payments

Soldiers providing Shannon flood relief get €1.85 an hour in overtime payments

Soldiers who have to come into barracks to provide support services get no extra allowance.

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Mali roadside bombing injured Irish Army Ranger Wing members

Mali roadside bombing injured Irish Army Ranger Wing members

A roadside bomb which injured three members of the Army Ranger Wing (ARW) in Mali was probably laid by a child who was paid just €1.50 by Islamic extremists to carry out highly-dangerous task

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Court martial prosecutor role unfilled for more than a year

Court martial prosecutor role unfilled for more than a year

The Department of Defence said the role of Director of Military Prosecutions became vacant in December 2018 and was filled in February this year.

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Irish Examiner View: End dangerous wishful thinking about national defence

Irish Examiner View: End dangerous wishful thinking about national defence

One of the bizarre cultural legacies from the 1960s is the idea that any money spent on defence is almost an immoral concession to that great draining force, the military industrial complex.

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Three Irish soldiers suffer 'minor injuries' while on patrol with United Nations in Mali

Three Irish soldiers suffer 'minor injuries' while on patrol with United Nations in Mali

Three Irish soldiers have been injured in an incident with the United Nations in Mali.

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State security 'at grave risk' due to lack of Defence Force resources

State security 'at grave risk' due to lack of Defence Force resources

The security of the State is at grave risk due to an influx of foreign intelligence agents, an inability to effectively protect undersea fibreoptic cables transmitting millions of financial transactions daily, and a lack of resources to counter terrorist threats.

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Sean O’Riordan: Country will be left paying the price if Defence Forces don’t get their dues

Sean O’Riordan: Country will be left paying the price if Defence Forces don’t get their dues

Drugs are flowing into the country as our borders can’t be properly patrolled. It is one of the myriad ways we are suffering due to the under-resourced Defence Forces, writes Defence Correspondent Sean O’Riordan

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Irish Examiner View: A dangerous slide

Irish Examiner View: A dangerous slide

We may not have or want two newish £3bn plus aircraft carriers or sustain squadrons of ceremonial cavalry like our neighbour.

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Naval staff shortage may see ship tied up while Ireland ‘awash with drugs’

Naval staff shortage may see ship tied up while Ireland ‘awash with drugs’

The Naval Service is so under-resourced that there are fears it won’t be able to combat maritime drug shipments while at the same time adequately patrolling EU fishery waters post-Brexit.

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Letters on naval ship civil war use not passed on

Letters on naval ship civil war use not passed on

The Department of Foreign Affairs promised to carry out a review of its system for “transmission of urgent and sensitive material” after it twice failed to pass on letters from the UN about the use of a former Irish naval vessel in the Libyan Civil War.

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44 personnel have left naval service since vessels tied up

44 personnel have left naval service since vessels tied up

The equivalent of a ship’s crew has left the naval service since it was forced to tie up two vessels due to manpower shortages.

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Navy man who died during rescue mission remembered on 30th anniversary

Navy man who died during rescue mission remembered on 30th anniversary

Serving sailors and former comrades of a Navy man who died helping to save the crew of a Spanish trawler held a special commemoration to remember him 30 years to the day of the tragedy.

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Manpower crisis may leave two ships docked

Manpower crisis may leave two ships docked

The growing manpower crisis in the Defence Forces has left the naval service unable to confirm if it can bring two tied-up ships back into operational service this year.

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Warning of emergency helicopter service restrictions

Warning of emergency helicopter service restrictions

An internal Department of Defence briefing warned that there would be significant restrictions on emergency helicopter services because the air corps was not in a position to provide the service for four days each month.

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Record number leaving Defence Forces

Record number leaving Defence Forces

A record number of personnel left the Defence Forces last year — and there are fears the retention crisis could get worse as the pace of the exodus increases in 2020.

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Government told to bolster Naval Service to protect Irish maritime security

Government told to bolster Naval Service to protect Irish maritime security

An expert group has made a submission to the government saying it must bolster the Naval Service to protect the country's maritime security.

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Over 120 Defence Forces members forced to rely on benefits due to low pay

Over 120 Defence Forces members forced to rely on benefits due to low pay

More than 120 people working for the Defence Forces are on such low pay they have to rely on benefits to make ends meet.

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Naval service conducts 780 boarding operations in year

Naval service conducts 780 boarding operations in year

The army conducted nearly 200 operations in support of An Garda Síochána involving bomb disposal call outs, prisoner escorts, cash escorts, and search operations.

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Letter to the Editor: Defence Forces need to be valued and respected

Letter to the Editor: Defence Forces need to be valued and respected

You cannot put a cost on respect and loyalty, so when it has come to the country’s Defence Forces, the Government has not valued them.

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More than 2,500 Defence Forces personnel deployed for Trump and Pence visits

More than 2,500 Defence Forces personnel deployed for Trump and Pence visits

The end-of-year summary of defence and security operations in 2019 has been released.

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'Concern' for Defence Forces as Govt fail to implement plans to bolster military

'Concern' for Defence Forces as Govt fail to implement plans to bolster military

General Secretary of RACO, Commandant Conor King, said that even some short-term measures promised in the Government's 'High Level Implementation Plan' are "significantly behind schedule"

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State ‘must protect’ hi-tech sea cables

State ‘must protect’ hi-tech sea cables

It is high time that the State defends its critical national infrastructure by protecting the transatlantic cables that pass through Irish waters, says a naval officer.

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Curragh Defence Forces training camp 'not fit for anybody' claim members of Oireachtas Committee

Curragh Defence Forces training camp 'not fit for anybody' claim members of Oireachtas Committee

The Defence Forces’ training camp in the Curragh features “bad sanitary conditions” and is "not fit for anybody”, members of an Oireachtas Committee claim.

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€1,270 pay boost to end exodus from naval service

€1,270 pay boost to end exodus from naval service

Navy personnel are to be given an extra €1,270 in their wages next year in the hope it will start to halt the exodus of personnel from the naval service.

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Defence forces agree to pay financial compensation and provide extra leave to soldiers

Defence forces agree to pay financial compensation and provide extra leave to soldiers

The Department of Defence has agreed to pay financial compensation and provide extra days leave to soldiers after it was alleged they worked excessive hours which breached the EU Working Time Directive (WTD).

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PDForra seeking conscientious objection rights

PDForra seeking conscientious objection rights

The association representing the country’s frontline Defence Forces has taken a case to the Council of Europe to force the State to recognise the right of soldiers, sailors and aircrew to register as conscientious objectors.

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Soldiers accept pay proposals to restore  allowances and increase take-home salary

Soldiers accept pay proposals to restore allowances and increase take-home salary

The Defence Forces have suffered staff shortages because of retention issues attributed to pay and conditions.

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