Defence Forces at lowest numbers in 30 years - PDFORRA

Over 1,000 soldiers, sailors and Air Corps personnel paid money to leave the Defence Forces in the past five years, according to the association that representsthem.

PDFORRA says staff levels in the Defence Forces are at their lowest in over 30 years. It says the Defence Forcesare experiencing major difficulties in retaining and recruiting personnel - writes rte.ie.

The association also says the loss of highly-trained specialists is particularly acute in air traffic control, bomb disposal, and in the naval service, because staff are overworked and underpaid.

Minister for Defence Paul Kehoe and the Defence Forces Chief of Staff are due to address delegates at the association's annual conference in Co Cavan later today.

The association says the numbers interested in joining have halved in the past four years, with the majority of those applicants not bothering to complete the entrance test.

There are currently 9,070 serving in the forces, but its optimum strength is 9,500.

PDFORRA also says that because of poor pay and conditions, forced retirement and burnout, more service personnel are leaving than ever before.

It points to the fact that in the past five years over 1,000 of them paid €300 each to get out early, many with specialist skills valued in the commercial sector.

It has also highlighted the particular difficulties this has caused in the Naval Service, Air Corps and bomb disposal units, where it costs over €100,000 to train a specialist.

There are not, PDFORRA says, sufficient personnel to operate a 24-hour air service and air traffic controllers are now on call at night for medical emergencies, a duty they perform without extra pay.

The Naval Service it says has only sufficient numbers for seven crews for its eight ships.

The association says if the Department of Defence is serious about recruiting and retaining personnel, it needs to offer comparable pay and conditions to those in the wider public service.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, PDFORRA General Secretary Gerard Guinansaid that changes to contracts over the past number of years mean there is no security of tenure anymore for members of the Defence Forces.

He said that this, combined with pay cuts, meant a career in the Defence Forces is not the attractive career it once was.

"With the pay cuts that have occurred as a result of the Haddington Road Agreement, pay rates have been reduced. And also significant numbers are having to travel vast distances as virtue of the re-org [re-organisation].

"It's not the attractive career that it once was."

Read other news of Dublin on our site.

rte.ie
NEWS IRELAND DEFENCE FORCES PAUL KEHOE PDFORRA
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
1 view in august
I recommend
No recommendations yet

Comments

Comments are designed to communicate and discuss the features of an enterprise or event, as well as to find out the interesting questions on it.

Society
The deadline has passed for those occupying a house in Dublin's north inner city to leave the building. The property was occupied earlier this month in what organisers said was a "political protest" in response to the housing crisis in Ireland. Yesterday, the High Court ordered those occupying the houseto vacate it by 8am this morning. Ms Justice Miriam O’Regan granted the property's owner, PJ O'Donnell (as trustee of the Pat O'Donnell & Co Ltd Retirement...
Society
A new all-time high for private residential rents has been reached for the ninth quarter in a row, according to the latest report from the property websiteDaft.ie. Its quarterly rental report shows rents across Ireland rose by an average of 12.4%in the year to June. This report shows the average monthly rent across the country during the second quarter of this year was €1,304, whichis€274 per month higher than the previous peak in 2008. In Dublin, the incr...
Society
GSK is to close its Sligo manufacturing plant with the loss of 165 jobs by 2021. In a statement, the company said it hadinformed employees at theskincare manufacturing siteof a proposal to close the site. Production at Stiefel Laboratories in Sligo will be phased downover three yearsbefore decommissioning the site by the end of 2021. The company said demand for the products made at the site had not grown in line with previous expectations, which has made t...
Crime
A man in his 20s has been charged in connection with the seizure of drugs in Cork worth around €45,000. He was arrested yesterday afternoon following a search on MacCurtain Street in Cork city, when he was found to be in possession of the drugs. The drugs, pending an analysis, are suspected to be cocaine. The man was brought to Mayfield Garda Station following his arrest, where he was later charged.
Incidents
The cyclist was taken to Mater Hospital following the collision. The collision involving a truck and cyclist on North Wall Quay A cyclist had a lucky escape this morning after they collided with a truck in a scary incident in the city centre - writes dublinlive.ie The incident happened just after 9am this morning on on Guild Street at North Wall Quay just beside the Samuel Beckett Bridge. Cyclists have now raised their concerns about the incident in an are...
Society
A US police chief has defended the use of a Taser on an 87-year-old grandmother cutting dandelions near her home in the southern state of Georgia. The incident occurred last Friday when a youth club worker called the police emergency number 911 after spotting Martha Al-Bishara, who does not speak English, using a knife to cut dandelions in the club's grounds near her home - writes rte.ie Responding to the scene, police in Chatsworth, around 135km north of...
Society
The leader of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland has said he hopes to meet the pope when he travels to Dublin next week. Moderator Dr Charles McMullen is attending a State reception for the pontiff at Dublin Castle on 25 August. Dr McMullen will also be present, at the invitation of Catholic Archbishop Eamon Martin, at the Festival of Families in Croke Park that evening, which Pope Francis will attend. Dr McMullen said: "The visit of Pope Francis to Irelan...
Society
Eighty students who sat the Leaving Certificate exam this year have not been given their results over fears they may have cheated. The State Examinations Commission has confirmed results are being "permanently withheld" from 43 of these students and it is still investigating the cases of a further 37 students whose results have not yet been handed out. The commission said their results are being provisionally withheld on a without prejudice basis, pending...
Society
The union representing pilots at Ryanair has described as "significant" the fact that talks with the airline are entering a fourth day. Both sides are attempting to resolve differences over base transfers, promotions, annual leave and other issues - writes rte.ie Bernard Harbour of Fórsa said the fact that mediator Kieran Mulvey is continuing with negotiations suggests, he thinks, that there is the possibility of reaching agreement today. Mr Harbour said a...