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19 Aug 2022

'It needs to be prioritised': Kildare Senator reacts to recommendations of the Commission on the Defence Forces report

'It needs to be prioritised': Kildare Senator reacts to recommendations of the Commission on the Defence Forces report

The report took 13 months to carry out its comprehensive review of staffing, capabilities and overall structure of the Defence Forces (PDF), presenting its findings. File photo supplied by the PDF

A Senator from Kildare has reacted to the recommendations of the Commission on the Defence Forces (CDF) report.

The CDF took 13 months to carry out its comprehensive review of staffing, capabilities and overall structure of the Defence Forces, presenting its findings in a report published in February earlier this year.

Fianna Fáil Senator Fiona O’Loughlin has called for the recommendations of the CDF report to be implemented without further delay. 

Speaking in the Seanad, she said: "The action plan on the implementation of the CDF's recommendations was due to be brought before the Cabinet at the start of the month.

"That has now been thrown into doubt amid media reports of internal friction between two Government Departments on the issue of cost.

Senator Fiona O' Loughlin, Fianna Fáil

The friction that Senator O' Loughlin is referring was first reported on by TheJournal.ie on Friday, July 1, in which the publication claimed that the delay of a memo to the Cabinet for the implementation of the CDF recommendations caused this tension.

Senator O' Loughlin continued: "The sticking point that has always held back our defence forces, is money, and a lack thereof.

"The report called for a major investment in the three defence force arms: the Air Corps, Navy and Army. We must deliver the funding that is required."

She further said: "The ask from the perspective of the CDF and from defence force personnel: they want a well-funded, multi-annual plan that will transform the operations of our defence forces as well as provide a viable and sustainable career path for our defence force personnel. 

"I have no doubt in the department's ability to deliver that, but it needs to be prioritised," Senator O' Loughlin concluded.

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