Upgrade of Defence Force's Curragh firing ranges to be finished by autumn

Upgrade of Defence Force's Curragh firing ranges to be finished by autumn

Works ongoing at the firing ranges at the Curragh

Work on upgrading the army firing range at the Curragh Camp is expected to be completed by autumn.

Large machinery have been seen operating on the site over the past number of weeks. A Defence Forces spokesperson last week confirmed the small arms ranges at the Defence Forces Training Centre are currently undergoing renovation, with the installation of a new modernised, electronically controlled firing range.

“Electronically controlled firing ranges or Electronic Training Ranges (ETRS) have now become the standard range in other militaries,” he said.

“The renovation will be ongoing over the summer months and is scheduled to conclude in autumn. The footprint and impact area of the range will remain within the bounds of the previous range.”

A Kildare TD recently highlighted the delapidated condition of many buildings within the Curragh Camp. Speaking in the Dail, Deputy Cathal Berry said; “anyone who has lived or worked in the Curragh has an emotional attachment to the place. It’s heartbreaking to see the current state of many of the historic buildings there. No other town in the country would be expected to put up with this.”

He said he would be insisting on increased resources in the October budget to address the problem.

In response, Minister Simon Coveney said he hopes to work with other ministers to put a plan in place to help revitalise the area. He acknowledged there is too much dereliction in parts of the camp.

He said; “We have a five-year capital investment programme already in place which commits to the expenditure of an enormous amount of money across all elements of defence infrastructure. My job is to make sure that we invest appropriately in the Defence Forces in terms of infrastructure, equipment and human resources. We will do so. I recognise that the Curragh is the centre of operations and I am currently considering certain flagship projects in the Curragh.”

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