Report of the Commission on Defence Forces welcomed by Senator Fiona O’Loughlin, but implementation will be key

Kildare based Senator Fiona O’Loughlin has welcomed the publication of the report of the commission on the future of the defence forces in the Seanad today.

Senator O’Loughlin said, “I welcome the report which will foster real debate about the defence Ireland needs as a modern European country. This is a substantial report running to 224 pages and 69 recommendations. It reports recommends significant changes for the Defence Forces and Defence provision in Ireland. It covers high level Defence Forces structures, defence capabilities, organisation culture and human resources, the Reserve Defence Force and funding.”

“The defence forces have been ignored for too long. We saw a white paper which was produced in 2015 that sat on a shelf and was not implemented- that cannot happen with this report. We need to see action here.”

“I have also reiterated my calls in the Senate for a permanent pay review body to be established as an absolute priority. It’s hard to speak of issues within the defence forces and not point out the glaring resource issues and pay and conditions for personnel. This engagement needs to be started immediately with Minister McGrath to ensure that we can deal with the pay issues within the defence forces, and I have called on Simon Coveney to act. The right to join ICTU is also an important aspect that I will be pursuing.”

Fiona concluded “The implementation of the findings of this report will have a direct impact on us in South Kildare. We must deal with the cultural issues that were raised, and we must support our personnel at every stage of this transformation agenda. I will be fighting to ensure that the recommendations are implemented and that our defence community in South Kildare is shown the respect they deserve.”