Kildare based Senator Fiona O’Loughlin spoke in favour of the Defence (Restriction on Use of Certain Titles) Bill 2021 to support the protection of the title Óglaigh na hÉireann.
O’Loughlin said “Many of our communities rely heavily on the defence community and their members who serve our country with distinction. The Curragh Camp is of course home to 2,000 military personnel and is the main training centre for the Irish Defence Force.”
“People choose to enter Óglaigh na hÉireann in order to further the cause of the Irish people and pledge their support for our nation, that’s why they enlist and sacrifice so much. They do this in service of our state and of our flag. As legislators we must ensure that what they do solely in the name of this state is sacrosanct, not in the name of a fringe group or an alternative military or of anything else. They deserve the respect of a legally protected title, and that’s what our bill does.”
“It is absolutely concerning that the title is not protected, and this legislation will make it an offence to use the terms Óglaigh na hÉireann or Defence Forces in any context other than where it applies to the defence forces in our county.”
Senator O’Loughlin concluded by saying “We cannot allow any organisation, any political party, any militia group usurp that title for their own cause. Our current defence community serve on the shoulders of their descendants before them, they serve at the pleasure of this state and they advance a long proud history of Óglaigh na hÉirean. They are building on the legacy of heroes gone before them and we must protect that legacy.”