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Impact Played Down By Taoiseach on Defence Forces Staff Buying their Way Out

4th October 2017
The Irish Naval Service OPV, LE James Joyce on the first full of day arrival to the naval base headquarters on Haulbowline Island, Cork Harbour in 2015. The second OPV90 class newbuild is rafted alongside flagship L.E. Eithne at the oil berth. The Irish Naval Service OPV, LE James Joyce on the first full of day arrival to the naval base headquarters on Haulbowline Island, Cork Harbour in 2015. The second OPV90 class newbuild is rafted alongside flagship L.E. Eithne at the oil berth. Photo: JEHAN ASHMORE

#navy - Concerns have been played down by the Taoiseach as to the number of personnel quitting the Defence Forces has left the combined strength of the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service at a 50-year low.

As The Irish Times writes, a high turnover is a normal feature of military organisations, Leo Varadkar said on Tuesday, as it emerged that more than 1,000 members have paid to leave the Defence Forces over the past five years.

The Fianna Fáil leader, Micheál Martin, noted in the Dáil statistics from PD-Forra, the largest military staff organisation, that 2,900 people had taken early retirement and 1,000 had paid the State a “discharge purchase”, averaging €300, to leave before their contracts expired.

Mr Varadkar reiterated the Government’s commitment to ensuring a full strength of 9,500 personnel and said 800 would be recruited this year. About 580 people leave every year, and “that’s been the case for the past decade”. The Taoiseach said “other military, such as the United Kingdom, are experiencing similar issues”.

To read more and that of the response of PD-forra, which represents sailors, airmen and soldiers, click here. 

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