The Minister for Defence and the Department of Defence
1.1 The Minister
The Constitution vests supreme command of the Defence Forces in the President and also
provides that the exercise of such command shall be regulated by law. The governing
legislation is contained in the Defence Acts, 1954-2011, which provide that military
command of, and all executive and administrative powers in relation to, the Defence Forces, including the power to delegate command and authority, shall be exercisable by the
Government and through and by the Minister for Defence. By law, the Minister for Defence
is also the head of the Department of Defence. The Minister also has other responsibilities in relation to Emergency Planning and the Irish
Red Cross Society.
A short summary of the key elements of the responsibilities of the Minister for Defence is provided at Appendix 1, and this also includes details of forthcoming meetings and events
that the Minister is required to attend.
1.2 The Minister of State
Traditionally the role of Minister of State at the Department of Defence has been assigned
to the Government Chief Whip and Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach.
The Minister of State assists the Minister for Defence in the performance of his duties but
this is not normally delegated formally. It is however open to the Minister to delegate assigned duties and powers to the Minister of State. Such delegation can be made, in
accordance with the Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 1977, by the
Government at the request of the Minister. However, all powers or duties so delegated
would continue to be vested in the Minister for Defence concurrently with the Minister of State and may be exercised or performed by either. The Minister for Defence would remain
responsible to Dáil Éireann and as the member of the Government for the exercise and performance of any statutory powers and duties delegated.
1.3 Statutory framework for the Department and the Defence Forces
The Constitution of Ireland vests the right to raise and maintain military or armed forces
exclusively in the Oireachtas and expressly prohibits the raising and maintenance of any
other military or armed force for any purpose whatsoever. The Department's mandate has
a constitutional and statutory basis which seeks to ensure the civil control of the armed forces of the State.
The Department of Defence was established by the Ministers and Secretaries Act 1924 and the Act assigns to the Department "the administration and business of the raising, training,
organisation, maintenance, equipment, management, discipline, regulation and control
according to law of the military defence forces".
Under the Defence Acts, 1954-2011, the Department has civil and military elements. The
civil element is headed by the Secretary General and the military element by the Chief of
Staff. Both elements provide supports to the Minister in the management of defence.
The Ministers and Secretaries Act provides that the Minister is ‘head' of the Department.
The Secretary General is the "principal officer" of the Department and as such is the
Minister's principal policy adviser. He is also appointed by the Minister for Finance as the
Accounting Officer for all defence expenditure in accordance with the Exchequer and Audit Departments Act 1866. The authority, responsibility and accountability of the Secretary General are further elaborated in the Comptroller and Auditor General (Amendment) Act,
1993 and the Public Service Management Act 1997. The 1997 Act also requires the
Secretary General to prepare a Strategy Statement for the Minister's approval and an
annual report on performance. The process of drafting a new Strategy Statement will now begin.
The Defence Acts 1954 to 2011 provide the legislative basis for the Defence Forces
(Óglaigh na hÉireann
) and provide that Defence Forces Headquarters (DFHQ) is the military element of the Department of Defence. The Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces
heads DFHQ. The Chief of Staff is the principal military adviser to the Minister. As
provided for in the Defence Acts, the Minister has assigned duties to the Chief of Staff. The
Chief of Staff is directly accountable to the Minister for the performance of these duties, which include responsibility for the military effectiveness, efficiency, organisation, and
economy of the Defence Forces. As provided for in the Acts and with the approval of the
Minister, the Chief of Staff has, in turn, delegated responsibility for certain duties to the
Deputy Chief of Staff (Operations) and to the Deputy Chief of Staff (Support). The Act also provides for delegation by the Minister of military command to General
Officers Commanding the Brigades (two), the Defence Forces Training Centre, the Air Corps
and to the Flag Officer Commanding the Naval Service. In practice, matters relating to
command are normally channelled through the Chief of Staff. In effect, this means that day-to-day operational control of the Defence Forces rests with the Chief of Staff for which he is
directly responsible to the Minister.
1.4 The Management Board
The civil element of the Department is led by the Management Board which comprises the
Secretary General, the two Assistant Secretary Generals and the Director. The Management
Board takes a central role in the formulation of strategy, in the development and
monitoring of the business planning process and deciding resource allocation. Policy on key strategic and management issues is formulated before submission, as appropriate, for consideration at a political level, or otherwise is implemented. The Management Board also
has a key role in relation to corporate governance. The Management Board meets on a weekly basis. The Minister occasionally attends meetings of the Management Board.
1.5 The Strategic Management Committee
The Strategic Management Committee (SMC) is a joint civil-military committee providing a
forum for the discussion of major policy issues. The SMC members are the Secretary
General of the Department of Defence (Chairman), the Chief of Staff, the two Assistant
Secretary Generals, the Director, the two Deputy Chiefs of Staff and the Assistant Chief of
Staff. The General Officer Commanding the Air Corps and the Flag Officer Commanding the Naval Service attend in respect of matters affecting their services. Close co-operation on all
matters between civil and military elements are a priority. The SMC meets on a monthly basis. The Minister occasionally attends meetings of the SMC.
1.6 Role of civil element of the Department
The structures of all Government Departments are regulated by the Ministers and
Secretaries Acts 1924 to 2011, and the Public Service Management Act 1997. As a
"corporation sole", the Minister embodies the Department in law and bears the
responsibility for its activities. In effect, the Minister is the Department and civil servants have no separate existence. This in turn means that the Minister is the ultimate decider of
Departmental policy, drawing on the advice of the civil service, within the overall context of
Government policy, and bears political responsibility for all actions within his or her
Department. Moreover, the Carltona Doctrine1 provides that the powers vested in a Minister may be exercised, without any express act of delegation, by departmental officials
of certain seniority and responsibility i.e. the decision of the civil servant is the decision of
Within this legal context, the primary role of the civil element of the Department of Defence
is to support the Minister as head of the Department and in particular to provide policy
advice and support on Defence matters, including assistance with policy formulation and
the implementation of policy as directed by the Minister. The civil element also has a number of specific roles, which include the management of
legal, regulatory and litigation policy and related matters on behalf of the Minister; the
management of human resources and industrial relations matters; and the coordination of
the delivery of security, emergency and community services by the Defence Forces. In addition, the civil element provides liaison between the Defence Forces and other
Government Departments, public authorities, the EU and public representatives. Policy in
respect of overseas operations, in furtherance of Ireland's commitments in the area of international security and peacekeeping, is also coordinated by the civil element.
1 Carltona Ltd. v Commissioners of Works
 2 All ER 560
Civil servants discharge financial management and audit functions in connection with the Secretary General's role as Accounting Officer and provide administrative support services
to the Defence Forces, including payroll and the management of major procurement and
infrastructural programmes. There has been a significant degree of delegation of financial
authority to the Defence Forces in recent years, particularly in the area of the procurement of goods and services.
An illustration of the senior management and Branch structure of the civil element of the
Department is shown in Appendix 2. To support the work of the civil element of the Department, and with the agreement of the
Office of the Attorney General, an Advisory Counsel has recently been seconded to the
Department for an initial period of three years to provide independent and objective legal advice. The new legal advisor (Ms. Eunice Friel BL) commenced duties on 29th March last and her role is to provide legal advice to the Secretary General, the Management Board and
to line Branches on specific issues that arise which require legal opinion.
1.7 Role of Internal Audit and the Audit Committee
The Department's Internal Audit Section is an independent unit which reports directly to
the Secretary General. It provides the internal audit function to both the Department and
the Defence Forces and carries out a range of audits each year covering various aspects of
the operation of the Department and Defence Forces. The Section's work programme is set out in the annual audit plan, which is approved by the Secretary General following its
review by the Department's Audit Committee. From time to time, the Section also
undertakes audits of urgent matters not included in the audit plan.
Internal Audit Section's work is reviewed on an ongoing basis by the Department's Audit
Committee. The Audit Committee operates under a charter co-signed by the Chair of the
Committee and the Secretary General. The role of the Audit Committee is to provide
independent advice to the Secretary General, in his position as Accounting Officer for the Defence Vote and the Army Pensions Vote, regarding the suitability and robustness of the
internal control systems and procedures in the Department and Defence Forces, and advise
him on matters relating to internal controls, risk management, financial reporting and internal and external audit. The Audit Committee comprises four members, two of whom
are external to the Defence Organisation2. The current membership of the Committee is: Chair – Ms Geraldine Tallon, former Secretary General, Department of the Environment,
Community and Local Government;
Second External Member – Ms Noreen Fahy, Finance Specialist, IPA; Department Representative – Mr Des Dowling, Assistant Secretary;
Defence Forces Representative – Major General Kevin Cotter, Deputy Chief of Staff
2 The term "Defence Organisation" refers to the Department of Defence and the Defence Forces.
The Committee meets not less than four times per year and the Head of Internal Audit attends all Committee meetings. The Chair of the Audit Committee has right of access to
the Accounting Officer.
1.8 Minister's Office and Special Advisers
The primary responsibilities of the Office of the Minister for Defence are the:
provision of a link between the Minister, the Department of Defence and the military
provision of advice and assistance to the Minister in relation to his ministerial
processing correspondence, representations, parliamentary business and enquiries; organisation of the Minister's diary and public engagements.
The Office provides a service to members of the Oireachtas, other Government
Departments and Ministers' Offices, constituents of the Minister and the public. The Office
also liaises with organisations or groups in relation to public engagements which the
Minister may undertake. The primary function of Special Advisers is to secure the achievement of Government
objectives and to ensure effective co-ordination in the implementation of the Programme
for Government. The role and duties of Special Advisers are described in section 11 of the
Public Service Management Act 1997. In summary, these are to assist the Minister by (i) providing advice; (ii) monitoring, facilitating and securing the achievement of Government
objectives that relate to the Department, as requested; and (iii) performing such other
functions as may be directed while being accountable to the Minister in the performance of
those functions. In accordance with guidance from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, an
Internal Office Notice regarding Special Advisers is being drafted. The Minister will be
consulted on this prior to finalisation. It is considered that the Internal Office Notice will set out the governance arrangements, information flows, procedures and systems for
decision making, administrative arrangements and other relevant organisational matters
that will be of particular interest and will impact on the work of Special Advisers. 1.9 Defence Forces Organisation
The Defence Forces are organised on conventional military lines providing a sufficiently
flexible structure to carry out all the roles assigned by Government. The Defence Forces
consist of a Permanent Defence Force (PDF) and a Reserve Defence Force (RDF). The
former is a standing force and provides the primary capabilities for military operations at home and military peace support operations abroad. The RDF provides a contingent
conventional military capability to augment and assist the PDF in situations where such
additional capabilities are required.
In addition, in the region of 500 civilian employees are engaged throughout the Defence Forces. The majority of these employees are craft, general operative and related grades and
are involved mainly in the maintenance of equipment and military installations. The
remaining employees are mostly involved in clerical and storekeeping duties for the
Defence Forces but also include aircraft inspectors, social workers and other various professional and technical grades.
PERMANENT DEFENCE FORCE
The PDF consists of the Army, the Air Corps and the Naval Service with an overall establishment of 9,500 personnel. A list of senior military management is attached at
The Army provides the land component of the State's Defence capabilities. The Army
currently provides the deployable military capabilities for overseas peace support
operations augmented by personnel from the Air Corps and Naval Service. On a day-to-day
basis the Army provides a broad range of operational outputs. These include activities in
support of An Garda Síochána such as providing prisoner escorts, explosive ordnance disposal and security duties at Shannon Airport. The Army also undertakes tasks in
support of the civil authorities such as the provision of assistance in severe weather events
and is an integral part of the State's response to many contingencies. The Army is
structured into two all-arms brigades, consisting of combat, combat support and combat service support elements. Each brigade has been designated a territorial area of
responsibility with specific locations. The Defence Forces Training Centre (DFTC), located
at the Curragh, Co. Kildare, supports the entire Defence Forces.
The Air Corps is based at Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel, Dublin and consists of an
operational headquarters, two operational wings, two support wings, the Air Corps
Training College, and a Communication and Information Services Squadron. On a day-to-day basis, the Air Corps undertakes Army Support, Fishery Protection Patrols, and provides
a Ministerial Air Transport Service.
The Air Corps supports An Garda Síochána by providing pilots and technical support for the
Garda Air Support Unit (GASU). The Air Corps also provides support to the HSE through the provision of an emergency inter-hospital air ambulance service. The Air Corps also
provides support for the HSE's Emergency Aeromedical Support (EAS) Service which
operates on a daily basis out of Custume Barracks, Athlone. In addition, the Air Corps
undertakes a number of other approved operations in support of the civil authorities. Naval Service
The Naval Service is based at Haulbowline, Co. Cork and has a flotilla of eight ships. It has
an operational headquarters, an operations command, a logistical support command and a Naval Service College. The Naval Service provides the maritime component of the State's
Defence capabilities. The Naval Service is the State's principal sea going agency and
provides a broad range of supports in the maritime domain. On any given patrol day, the Naval Service can carry out a number of taskings on behalf of other State agencies such as
the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA), An Garda Síochána and the Revenue Commissioners.
In addition, the first deployment overseas of Irish Naval Vessels to assist the Italian
Authorities with the collective effort to save lives in the Mediterranean took place during 2015 and is addressed further in section 5.4 of this Brief.
Naval Service vessels also participate from time to time in foreign visits in support of Irish
diplomacy and trade. RESERVE DEFENCE FORCE
The RDF consists of the First Line Reserve, the Army Reserve and the Naval Service
Reserve. The Army Reserve has an establishment of 3,869 personnel and the Naval Service Reserve has an establishment of 200 personnel which in accordance with the White Paper is to rise to 300 which will result in the overall establishment figure for the RDF increasing
1.10 Roles of the Defence Forces (incl. RDF)
The new White Paper on Defence published in 2015 established the following revised roles
for the Permanent Defence Force (PDF):
To provide for the military defence of the State from armed aggression;
To participate in multi-national peace support, crisis management and humanitarian
relief operations in accordance with Government direction and legislative provision;
To aid the civil power – meaning in practice to assist, when requested, An Garda
Síochána, who have primary responsibility for law and order, including the protection of the internal security of the State;
To contribute to maritime security encompassing the delivery of a fishery protection
service and the operation of the State's Fishery Monitoring Centre, and in co-operation
with other agencies with responsibilities in the maritime domain, to contribute to a shared common maritime operational picture;
To participate in the Joint Taskforce on Drugs interdiction;
To contribute to national resilience through the provision of specified defence aid to the
civil authority (ATCA) supports to lead agencies in response to major emergencies,
including cyber security emergencies, and in the maintenance of essential services, as
set out in MOUs and SLAs agreed by the Department of Defence;
To provide a Ministerial air transport service (MATS);
To provide ceremonial services on behalf of Government;
To provide a range of other supports to government departments and agencies in line
with MOUs and SLAs agreed by the Department of Defence e.g. search and rescue and air ambulance services;
To contribute to Ireland's economic well being through engagement with industry,
research and development and job initiatives, in support of government policy;
To fulfil any other tasks that Government may assign from time to time. The new White Paper establishes that the primary role of the Reserve Defence Force (RDF) is to augment the PDF in crisis situations. The types of tasks that the RDF could be required
to undertake in such situations are varied but could include: Conventional military operations in defence of the State;
Aid to the civil power support, including port security tasks;
Aid to the civil authority support;
Barrack security or other supports that facilitate the release of members of the PDF for
A further role of the RDF which is provided for in the White Paper is to contribute to state ceremonial events.
A statistical summary of the day to day operational outputs of the Defence Forces during
2015 is provided at Appendix 4.
White Paper on Defence 2015
The White Paper on Defence was approved by Government on 14th July 2015 and was
formally launched at an event held in Dublin Castle on 26th August 2015.
The preparation of the White Paper was informed by a wide-ranging consultation process, which was facilitated by the publication of the first ever Green Paper on Defence in July 2013. Discussions were held with a range of Government Departments and State Agencies
on cross-cutting policy issues. The views of international organisations were also obtained,
with a particular focus on likely future trends in international peace support operations. A symposium on the White Paper was also held on 15th May 2015 and this, coupled with Dáil
statements on 30th June 2015, provided a final opportunity for inputs from stakeholders,
prior to the finalisation of the White Paper.
2.2 Key Provisions
The new White Paper on Defence was published in August 2015 and provides the defence
policy framework for the next decade. This policy framework is flexible and responsive
given the dynamic nature of the security environment and enables the Defence
Organisation to be adaptive to changing circumstances. As well as providing for the Defence of the State from armed aggression, the roles assigned (see section 1.6 for a full
list) include continued provision of supports to An Garda Síochána, the defence
contribution to international peace and security and the defence contribution to major
emergencies and civil contingencies. These non-security supports maximise the utility of defence assets and improve the value for money achieved from defence expenditure.
Defence policy is a manifestation of civil control of Defence and encompasses a number of
essential components including: decisions on defence requirements and the defence contribution within a wider security framework; decisions on the use of defence assets
towards non-security ends; decisions on the financial resourcing of defence and
capabilities to be retained and developed; and matters relating to the administration of
defence. A key feature of the White Paper is the security assessment, which is set out in Chapter 2
and which was prepared by an inter-departmental group comprising representatives from
the Department of the Taoiseach, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the
Department of Defence, the Defence Forces, the Department of Justice and Equality and An Garda Síochána.
The White Paper also sets out key capability decisions. The development of flexible and adaptive military capabilities is a pragmatic approach to dealing with future uncertainty
and the roles assigned. Capability commitments outlined in the White Paper are as follows:
To maintain the Permanent Defence Force (PDF) establishment at least at 9,500
To retain existing two Brigade Army structure and Air Corps and Naval Service
To review high level Command and Control arrangements. On the equipment front, the immediate requirement is to ensure that the Defence Forces can continue to undertake the tasks that are required of them. This will require
replacement of significant equipment platforms over the life-time of the White Paper as follows:
Upgrade or replacement of the Army's fleet of armoured personnel carriers (APCs);
Measures will be taken to further enhance the capabilities of the Army Ranger Wing, in
particular with the aim of increasing the strength of the Unit considerably;
Replacement of a further three Naval Service vessels – LÉ Eithne, LÉ Ciara and LÉ Orla; Replacement of the Air Corps Cessna fleet and CASA maritime patrol aircraft. Other equipment priorities have also been identified in the event of additional funding
becoming available (beyond that required to replace existing capabilities). This includes
radar surveillance capability for the Air Corps, further vessels for the Naval Service and additional armoured vehicles and air defence capabilities for the Army.
Human Resources are a key component of capability and the White Paper sets out an
ambitious programme in order to ensure that the Defence Organisation can continue to meet the challenges of a changing world. It includes a section dealing with Veterans and
the support that the Veterans Organisations will receive from the Department and the
Defence Forces. It also includes a section on Gender and provides that further initiatives
will be developed to encourage more women to apply to join the Defence Forces and to increase female participation at all ranks.
The service of members of the Reserve is valued and the Reserve Defence Force will be developed to ensure its continued viability. This includes a proposal that where specialist skills gaps exist in the PDF, consideration be given to engaging Reservists for relevant
The members of Civil Defence provide essential supports in time of need and Civil Defence
will also be developed to ensure that it can continue to deliver the required supports. The future of Civil Defence will continue to be developed around its central strategic objective
of supporting the Principle Response Agencies in a variety of emergency and non-
emergency situations. This embraces the large number of support roles under the
Framework for Major Emergency Management including assistance in dealing with a wide range of emergencies at national and local level, including severe weather, flooding and searches for missing persons. All of the foregoing are referred to as core services.
2.3 New Initiatives
The White Paper introduces a wide range of new initiatives for the defence sector
including: A new process of fixed cycle defence reviews is to be established, at three and six year
intervals, and will include an updated assessment of the security environment. This
will assure foresight, flexibility, poise and overall preparedness in terms of defence
planning and provision.
A specific defence funding study will be established to capture in a new way the
expected long-term costs of meeting Ireland's defence requirements using a ten year planning horizon linked to the proposed new framework of fixed cycle reviews.
The Department, in conjunction with other government departments and agencies, will
explore the contribution of gender focused measures, particularly in relation to the
deployment of female personnel. This is an area that the Secretary General of the United
Nations recently called upon Ireland to further support.
The potential development of a new Institute for Peace Support and Leadership
Training. It is foreseen that the new Institute would have international standing and
contribute to the overall development of knowledge and experience in the areas of
peace support and conflict resolution. Work on the concept will be developed over the
coming 12 months.
Engagement by the Defence Organisation in innovation, research and product
development will be further developed over the lifetime of the White Paper, through
the Defence Enterprise Initiative.
A new employment support scheme, aimed at unemployed people in the 18-24 age
range, is being developed in consultation with key stakeholders including the
Department of Social Protection. An initial pilot scheme for 30 participants is scheduled
to commence on 20th June next, based at Gormanston Camp.
Following the publication of the White Paper on Defence a total of 88 separate projects
were identified to be completed over a ten year period (see White Paper Implementation
Plan at Appendix 5). These White Paper implementation projects are divided into three
categories; those that fall into Immediate (I) which are to be initiated during the period ending in June 2017, Medium (M) which are to be initiated during the period between July
2017 and December 2019, and Long (L) which are to be initiated in the period after
The breadth of White Paper projects is such that responsibility for delivery must be spread
across the Defence Organisation and placed with the most appropriate responsible leads.
Civil/Military project teams have been established in relation to each project. The relevant civil or military leads will facilitate the joint production of a detailed project plan for each
project. A Joint Civil Military White Paper Implementation Facilitation Team (Joint Team)
was set up to support and monitor the progress of these White Paper projects through
interaction and cooperation with the civil/military Project Teams. The Joint Team has engaged with the Institute of Public Administration to provide Project Management
training to members of the various civil/military project teams and this training
programme is currently in train. The Joint Team will be responsible on an ongoing basis
for advising the Minister, the Management Board, General Staff and the Strategic Management Committee about implementation of every project against agreed milestones
and to this end are preparing an overall Implementation Framework. The Joint Team will
also assist in the compilation and promulgation of lessons learned.
3.1 Re-organisation of the Defence Forces
In December 2011, following the completion of a Comprehensive Review of Expenditure,
the Government decided to stabilise the strength of the Permanent Defence Force (PDF)
within a strength ceiling of 9,500 personnel.
The organisational structures that were in place at that time were initially designed for a PDF strength of 11,500 personnel and were no longer viable for a strength ceiling of 9,500
personnel. In this context, the Minister for Defence initiated a major re-organisation of the
Defence Forces incorporating a reduction in the number of Army Brigades from three to two. The Chief of Staff and Secretary General of the Department brought forward detailed
proposals regarding the re-organisation, including the geographical boundaries of Brigades
and the location of the two Brigade Headquarters in Dublin and Cork. The Minister fully
accepted these recommendations. The re-organisation consolidated a large number of under-strength Units into a smaller
number of Units and personnel were re-deployed from administrative and headquarters
functions to operational Units. This optimised the operational effectiveness of the PDF
within the available resources. The re-organisation of the PDF commenced in July 2012 and was substantially completed
by 30th November 2012.
3.2 Public Service Stability Agreement 2013-2018 ["Lansdowne Road
The Lansdowne Road Agreement was negotiated in May 2015 and extended the Public Service Stability Agreement from 2016 out to 2018. Work is continuing on implementation of the central provisions of the Public Service Stability Agreement 2013-2018 and also the
specific provisions provided for under the Defence Sector Collective Agreement, which
included the reviews of technical pay groups and security duty allowances as provided for under the Croke Park Agreement. During 2015 discussions on the Lansdowne Road
Agreement were finalised with both Representative Associations attending and
participating in the parallel process talks. All parties are committed to the reform
programme as set out in the Agreement. 3.3 Shared Services
The Public Service Reform Programme (November 2011) identified the implementation of
shared services as a major reform initiative. Shared services consolidate administrative
functions in areas such as Human Resources, Payroll and Finance allowing the public sector bodies to focus resources on core activities that in turn lead to administrative efficiency
and reduced costs.
The Department of Defence has already transferred certain Human Resources and Payroll functions to the National Shared Services Office (NSSO) which was established on a non-
statutory basis in 2014 within the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. The
NSSO consists of three separate projects; two of which have commenced operations namely
PeoplePoint (HR & pensions administration Shared Service Centre), and the Payroll Shared Service Centre (PSSC). The third project, the Financial Management Shared Service Centre,
is expected to commence operations in 2017/18.
The Department of Defence's some 350 civil servants successfully transitioned to PeoplePoint in July 2015. Separately, the Department also successfully transitioned its civil service and civilian employee payrolls into the PSSC in February 2015 and military
pensioners followed in October 2015. The Department remains on target to transition the
next payrolls in September/October 2016 (subject to confirmation of date) with the final
phase of transition to the PSSC to take place in February/March 2017 (subject to confirmation of date) when military Travel and Subsistence payments will transition.
The Establishment of the NSSO on a statutory basis has been approved by Government and
will result in the transfer of a large element of the Department's staff to the NSSO. This will change considerably the overall profile of the Department's organisation with an increased
emphasis on policy-based work around defence provision.
3.4 Procurement Reform
Office of Government Procurement
The Office of Government Procurement (OGP) was established (initially on a non-statutory
basis) by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in 2013. The OGP has full
responsibility for procurement policy and procedures, and for sourcing all goods and services on behalf of the public service.
In January 2016, Government approved the drafting of a Bill to establish the OGP on a statutory footing; primarily in order to move beyond co-operation and collaboration, to
assign appropriate authority and to establish permanent governance arrangements.
3.5 Integrated Reform Delivery Plan
Integrated Reform Delivery Plans are high level plans that are required to be prepared by
each Department annually, in accordance with the Public Service Reform Plan, setting out
priority reform initiatives. 2016 is the fifth year of preparing these plans. A draft civil/military Plan for 2016 has been prepared jointly for the Minister's consideration
setting out priority reform initiatives for the Defence Organisation. The Plan is divided into
Organisation / sector level governance to drive the delivery of reform and
reference to the Lansdowne Road Agreement as a key enabler;
Priority organisation / sector specific reforms;
Cross-cutting actions under the Public Service Reform Plan 2014-2016;
Relevant actions from the Civil Service Renewal Plan.
Responsibility for implementation of the specific actions in the Plan will fall to both
military and civil members of the SMC, jointly in some cases, as appropriate. Implementation is overseen by the Management Board and the SMC on a continuous basis. Progress on implementation in reported to Department of Public Expenditure and Reform
3.6 Defence Enterprise Committee
There is an ongoing requirement to examine new and innovative means of improving
capabilities in the security and defence domain, so that the Defence Forces are in a position
to undertake the roles assigned by Government. In July 2011 the Government approved
arrangements, whereby Enterprise Ireland supports the Department of Defence/Defence Forces capability development, by raising the awareness of, and engaging with, Irish-based
enterprise and research institutes, including third level colleges that are engaged in
relevant and related activities. This is achieved through a Defence Enterprise Committee
which is overseen by the Defence Enterprise Ireland Co-ordination Committee. These committees comprise personnel from the Department of Defence, the Defence Forces and
Enterprise Ireland. Projects proposed by institutes and companies are firstly considered
and cleared by Enterprise Ireland and then submitted to the Defence Enterprise Committee
for consideration. All proposals are vetted and agreed by the Defence Enterprise Committee to ensure compatibility with the roles assigned to the Defence Forces by the
The Defence Forces, in turn, support Irish enterprise and research institutes, including
third level colleges, which can contribute to the development and enhancement of Defence Forces capabilities. Under this initiative the Defence Forces are supporting a range of
projects that cover research, training and innovation projects including with Irish
In February 2016 the Defence Forces were successful as part of a Horizon 2020 consortium
led by NUIG with a proposal called ROCSAFE. The scope of the project is to develop mobile,
remotely-controlled technologies to enable an improved identification and detection of
Chemical Biological Radioactive Nuclear (CBRN) materials and collection of forensic evidence in a variety of situations and conditions. The Defence Forces role in this project is as "end users" and they will assist in developing scenarios and assessing results. The
funding awarded to the Defence Forces is in the region of €90,000.
The engagement by the Defence Organisation in innovation, research and product
development has been given a particular emphasis in the White Paper, which provides that
further development in this area will include the establishment of a Security and Defence
Enterprise Group. This Group will bring together enterprise, industry, research and practitioners in the field of security and defence to identify areas of common endeavour
and collaboration. The White Paper also recognised that while maintaining a very active
approach to supporting enterprise and research, the Department of Defence or the Defence
Forces do not have significant capacity or a stated function in industrial promotion. As such, only existing resources can be utilised in this area and therefore, such supports have
to be closely managed and prioritised having regard to their congruence with defence
capability requirements and benefits.
Defence funding is provided on an annual basis through two separate allocations; Vote 35
(Army Pensions) and Vote 36 (Defence).
4.1 Vote 35 (Army Pensions)
The Army Pensions Vote provides for the payment of pension benefits to retired military
personnel and certain dependants. As such, the Vote is non-discretionary and demand
driven. Superannuation benefits – retirement pensions and once-off lump sums – account for about 95% of all military pensions expenditure. The balance is spent on military
disability pensions and other ancillary benefits.
The following table summarises the position in relation to Vote 35 in 2015 and 2016.
*Includes supplementary estimate of €6.5m
There has been a continued structural under-provision for the Army Pensions Vote, resulting in successive supplementary estimates every year since 2005. A supplementary
estimate of €6.5m (approx 3%) was required in 2015. The Department has managed to
meet these shortfalls from payroll savings on the Defence Vote (Vote 36) e.g. pay savings
that arise from the gap between retirements and the recruitment of replacement personnel
(normally recruited in batches of 30+ to facilitate collective training). There are particular difficulties that are unique to the Defence Forces in terms of predicting
retirement and turnover patterns, and which can contribute to greater than expected
expenditure in any given year. This is due, amongst other things, to the availability of the early payment of pension benefits immediately on retirement after relatively short periods
of service (and regardless of age); and the fact that the timing of a person's actual
departure on pension is largely one of their own personal choice. Members of the
Permanent Defence Force (PDF) have earlier pension accrual for operational and manpower policy reasons. This derives from the ongoing requirement to recruit new blood
in order to maintain a dynamic, modern and professional military force and helps maintain
the age profile of personnel as close as possible to appropriate levels for all ranks. The
average age of serving PDF members is currently 36, while almost 70% of personnel are under the age of 40.
There are now some 12,100 monthly-paid military pensioners (including dependants of
deceased members), a net increase of about 1,100 since 2007. It is expected that there will be 270 new retirees coming on stream during this year. The position regarding 2016
funding is being closely monitored to determine emerging trends. A monthly financial
report is sent to the Minister.
Under the Army Pensions Acts 1923-1980 a tax-free disability pension or gratuity may,
following retirement, be granted to a former member of the PDF for permanent
disablement due to a wound or injury attributable to military service (whether at home or abroad) or to a disease attributable to, or aggravated by, overseas service with a United Nations Force. These benefits are payable in addition to Defence Forces retirement
benefits, however, the two pensions are subject to an overall limit. In cases where a service
(retirement) pension and a disability pension are payable the Acts provide for the service
(retirement) pension to be reduced, usually by half the disability pension amount. [It should be noted that compulsory retirement or discharge from the Defence Forces on
medical grounds does not give an automatic entitlement to a disability pension.]
The Army Pensions Board
The Board is an independent statutory body consisting of a Chairman and two ordinary
members (both doctors). The Chairman and one doctor are civilians and the other member
is a serving Army doctor. The Board's principal function is to investigate applications for
pensions, allowances and gratuities under the Army Pensions Acts and to report to the Minister thereon. The Board determines the question of attributability to military service
in each case; assesses the degree of disability; and reports its findings to the Department,
which acts on the Board's findings including the grant or refusal of appropriate benefits.
Section 13(2) of the Army Pensions Act 1923 as amended, provides that any alternative
compensation received may be taken into consideration by the Minister in fixing the level
of disability pension or gratuity that might otherwise be awarded for the same injury or
medical condition. The underlying objective is to take into consideration compensation paid ‘on the double' for the same disablement. Compensation of the kind in question would
usually result from a civil action for damages against the State, but compensation received
from any other source is not excluded. Decisions under S13 (2) are made personally by the
Minister on a case by case basis.
4.2 Vote 36 (Defence)
The Defence Vote provides for both capital and current expenditure and in 2016 amounts to just under €682m. A substantial portion of this encompasses the pay and allowances of up to 9,500 Permanent Defence Force (PDF) personnel, 550 civilian employees and 350
civil servants. The Vote also includes provision for non-pay costs relating to the replacement and maintenance of essential defence equipment and operational costs.
The following table summarises the position in relation to Vote 36 in 2015 and 2016 and a
full subhead breakdown of this Vote is provided at Appendix 6.
The Defence Vote 36 allocation provides for the pay and allowances of some 10,435 public
sector employees. It also provides for paid training for members of the Reserve Defence Force. The associated 2016 pay allocation is €493m. Non-Pay current expenditure of
€121m. will be used mainly to fund ongoing Defence Forces operational, support,
maintenance and training costs.
In the past, a ratio of 70% to 30% was identified as being the appropriate pay to non-pay
ratio for Defence expenditure. A level of 30% for non-pay is now regarded, in the context
of advanced technology and essential reliance for most operations on heavier duty
equipment, as an absolute minimum. The 2015 outturn for the pay to non-pay ratio was 68% to 32%. The White Paper provides that the future ambition is to maintain the stability
of the pay element while simultaneously increasing the non-pay element.
The 2016 capital allocation of €68m. will be used for the purchase and upgrade of military equipment, necessary building and maintenance works, and ICT projects.
In the longer term, Defence has been allocated €437m. as part of the 2016-2021 Capital
Spending Plan. This allocation included an additional €65m. provision over the 2016-2021 timeframe, an increase of considerable strategic importance which will allow Defence to
make significant investments in equipment and infrastructure over the coming years, as provided for in the White Paper on Defence.
In addition, the White Paper provides that 100% of the proceeds from sales of surplus
properties from within the Defence estate can be reinvested in the defence capital
programme. In practice, necessary adjustments arising from such sales will be made to the
following year's capital provision.
National and International Security
5.1 National Security Committee
The role of the Committee is to ensure that the Taoiseach and Government are kept
informed of high-level security issues and the State's response to them. The Committee comprises the Secretary General to the Government, Secretary General Department of
Foreign Affairs and Trade, Secretary General Department of Justice and Equality, the Garda
Commissioner, Secretary General, Department of Defence and the Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces. The Committee receives threat assessments from the Garda Commissioner and the Chief of Staff.
The Chief of Staff and the Director of Intelligence advise the Minister for Defence on
intelligence and security matters and operations. The Minister has the legal authority, at the request of the Director of Intelligence, to authorise, inter alia
, certain communications
intercepts, the carrying out of surveillance and the use of tracking devices in accordance
with the relevant legislation. The Secretary General advises the Minister on all policy
issues in this regard. 5.2 Domestic Security/Aid to the Civil Power
Internal security is primarily the responsibility of An Garda Síochána with the Defence
Forces playing a key role in providing, on request, aid to the civil power (ATCP) support. In
contrast to many countries, Ireland has a predominantly unarmed police force and as a
result the Defence Forces provide internal security supports to An Garda Síochána on an on-going basis. Some typical examples of such support are outlined below.
Garda Air Support Unit (GASU)
The Air Corps supports An Garda Síochána in the operation of two helicopters and a fixed wing aircraft, which form the GASU. The Air Corps provides regulatory oversight and
piloting for the two helicopters and also has responsibility for maintenance of the fixed wing aircraft. The Air Corps support to the GASU is covered by the terms of a Service Level
Agreement (SLA) with the Department of Justice and Equality.
Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD)
Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams regularly respond to requests made by An Garda
Síochána for Defence Forces assistance in dealing with a suspect device or for the removal
of old ordnance. EOD teams provide a unique response capability within the State to deal with such incidents. This capability has been developed over many years in operational
environments both at home and overseas, and has been further enhanced in the area of
chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) operations.
Static Guard and Cash Escorts for the Central Bank
The Department of Defence recoups the full economic costs incurred as a result of escort
and security services provided by the Defence Forces to the Central Bank. The total cost of
this service annually is in the region of €1.3m.
Joint Task Force on Drug Interdiction
The Joint Task Force (JTF), which was established in 1993, enhances co-operation between
An Garda Síochána, the Revenue Commissioners and the Naval Service in enforcing the law
in relation to drug trafficking at sea. The JTF is brought together when An Garda Síochána and Revenue review intelligence received and consider that a joint operation should be
At the direction of Government, the Defence Force continues to provide security at
Portlaoise Prison. They also provide prisoner escorts to and from the courts and hospitals,
at the request of An Garda Síochána.
Security at Key Locations
Also at the direction of Government, Military Police provide a 24/7/365 presence in
Government Buildings in support of An Garda Síochána and to support the security needs
within the Government Buildings/Leinster House complex.
At the request of An Garda Síochána, the Defence Forces provide static security 24/7/365
at the Irish Industrial Explosives premises in Enfield, Co. Meath.
5.3 Aid to the Civil Authority and other tasks
In addition to providing ATCP and participating in overseas peace support operations, the
Defence Forces also undertake a broad range of tasks on a day-to-day basis, and across a wide range of contingencies, in its aid to the civil authority (ATCA) role. Recent examples
include the assistance provided to the local authorities and the HSE during the recent
flooding/severe weather events that occurred throughout the country between December
2015 and February 2016. The Department has pioneered the development of Memorandums of Understanding
(MOUs) and Service Level Agreements (SLAs) in order to improve working relationships,
service delivery and performance measurement. The general approach, where services are provided by the Defence Forces on a recurring basis to other Government Departments and
Agencies, has been to agree a MOU or a SLA as a framework for the provision of services.
The White Paper on Defence provides that the Department continues to formalise
arrangements with other Departments and Agencies through the development of MOUs
and SLAs and at present 22 such agreements are in place. Discussions are ongoing with a number of other Departments and Agencies regarding the
developments of further agreements including one with the Department of Health for the
Air Corps support to the HSE in respect of the Emergency Aeromedical Support Service.
Ministerial Air Transport Service
The Ministerial Air Transport Service (MATS) is delivered primarily by the use of the
Learjet 45 aircraft. The Learjet has a capacity to carry seven passengers and can be tasked
with short and medium haul missions to the UK and Europe. A total of 68 Lear missions
took place in 2015.
Following on from a Government decision in 2014, an inter-departmental high level group
of officials was established (the MATS Review Group) to examine options for the future
provision of the MATS. Following the sale of the Gulfstream IV aircraft in late 2014, the MATS Review Group is preparing a Report to Government with recommendations and its
work is ongoing.
The Naval Service conducts routine maritime surveillance patrols throughout Ireland's
maritime jurisdiction on a day to day basis. In doing so the primary tasking of the Naval
Service is to provide a fishery protection service based on outputs agreed annually with the
Sea Fisheries Protection Authority in accordance with the State's fishery protection
legislation and its obligations as a member of the European Union. The Naval Service is currently equipped with a total of eight patrol vessels and will take
possession of LÉ William Butler Yeats in mid 2016, to replace LÉ Aisling which will be
decommissioned. This new vessel, allied to two new vessels in the same class (LÉ Samuel Beckett and LÉ James Joyce) that also replaced older vessels in 2014 and 2015 respectively,
will further help to ensure that the Naval Service can maintain its current outputs and meet
The Air Corps provide a long standing emergency inter-hospital transfer service within
Ireland and to the United Kingdom in support of the HSE. This service is underpinned by a
service level agreement between the Department of Defence and the Department of Health which formalises arrangements for the provision of the service by the Air Corps.
In addition, the Air Corps also supports the HSE's Emergency Aeromedical Support (EAS)
service. This service commenced in June 2012 and was established, initially on a pilot basis,
by agreement between the Department and the Department of Health. A permanent service has now been established following a Government decision in July 2015. The Air
Corps supports this service through the provision of a dedicated helicopter operating
during daylight hours out of Custume Barracks Athlone, with reserve support being
provided by the Irish Coast Guard. Arising from the Government decision in July 2015, the Defence Vote now receives an
additional €2.2m. annually in respect of the costs incurred by the Air Corps in providing
the EAS service. This is based on flying c. 480 hours per year. The Government decision provides that various options for future provision of the service will be kept under review
in the context of ensuring a sustainable long term service. 397 EAS missions were
undertaken in 2015.
5.4 International Security and Defence Policy
It is acknowledged that no state acting alone can address the entirety of existing and
emerging security challenges. They require a co-ordinated, collaborative and integrated
collective response drawing on a wide range of policy instruments at national level and
through multilateral collective security arrangements. Ireland through its proactive engagement with the UN, the EU, the OSCE and NATO Partnership for Peace (PfP), and
bilaterally with other states, continues to contribute to a range of cooperative and
collaborative security arrangements in support of international peace and security.
Ireland maintains a policy of military neutrality which is characterised by non-membership
of military alliances and non-participation in common or mutual defence arrangements. Deployment of Defence Forces' personnel on peace support missions is undertaken in accordance with relevant legislation, which contains the requirement for Government, Dáil
and UN approval, known as the "triple-lock". This provision applies in all circumstances
where more than 12 personnel are to be deployed on a peace support mission. However,
under the provisions of the Defence (Amendment) Act 2006, personnel may also be
deployed for such reasons as training and humanitarian operations under the sole authority of the Government.
The EU and the UN
Relations between the EU and the United Nations have developed over time into a rich and diverse network of co-operation and interaction, spanning virtually the entire range of EU
external relations. The main areas in which the UN is active today – such as promoting
international peace and security, promoting respect for human rights, protecting the
environment, fighting disease, fostering development and reducing poverty – are also key priorities for the European Union.
As a guiding principle, EU-UN cooperation in crisis management is based on the added
value to both organisations and on producing operational benefits building on complementarity of efforts on the ground, within the overall aim of ensuring EU-UN
effectiveness and coherence on peace and security.
Ireland regards EU-UN co-operation in the area of Crisis Management as an important tool
in strengthening effective multilateralism by allowing both organisations to work together to respond more effectively in times of crisis. The relationship between the EU and UN is a
key consideration in advancing the role of the Union in international crisis management.
With the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty on 1 December 2009, the EU's European
Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) was renamed the Common Security and Defence Policy
(CSDP). CSDP is an integral part of the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy, which
encompasses the EU's international obligations to the maintenance of international peace and security.
CSDP's primary function is to provide the Union with an operational capacity to undertake peacekeeping and crisis management missions outside the territory of the Member States.
In addition to military tasks, there is a significant civilian and humanitarian dimension.
The EU has at its disposal a wide range of instruments which it can deploy in this regard.
These include economic, political, administrative, rule of law, etc. Ireland's participation in CSDP takes place within the framework of our commitment to the
primacy of the United Nations in the maintenance of international peace and security.
Based on the provisions of the Treaty on European Union, amended by the Lisbon Treaty, Ireland has continued to participate in the ongoing development of EU military and civilian
crisis management capabilities under CSDP.
The two main structures for the development and implementation of CSDP are the Political and Security Committee (PSC) and the EU Military Committee (EUMC). These bodies are supported by the Council Secretariat and the EU Military Staff respectively. Ireland is
represented at ambassadorial level in the PSC and by a Brigadier General, representing the
Chief of Staff, within the EUMC. Defence personnel, based in Ireland's Permanent
Representation to the European Union, work proactively in representing Ireland's national interests within the Union, in association with colleagues from the Department of Foreign
Participation in CSDP imposes no obligation on a Member State to participate in any EU operation. The deployment of troops and personnel or the commitment to contribute
financially remains the exclusive prerogative of each Member State, to be decided in
accordance with its own national decision making processes. The Lisbon Treaty expanded
the scope of tasks undertaken in EU crisis management operations and introduced new processes for solidarity, assistance and cooperation. However, under the guarantees
secured by Ireland there was no fundamental change to the Irish approach to supporting
EU actions in CSDP.
EU Defence Ministers Meetings
While there is no formal Defence Ministers Council, Defence Ministers meet twice during
each 6 month EU Presidency, (one informal meeting and one meeting with Ministers for
Foreign Affairs). Ministers also meet in the format of the European Defence Agency (EDA)
Steering Board. The next meeting of EU Defence Ministers will take place in Bratislava on 26th and 27th September 2016. Following that, there will be a meeting with the Ministers
for Foreign Affairs on 15th November 2016.
The term ‘Battlegroup' is a standard technical military term. Essentially, it is a battalion-
sized force with its support elements'; including transport and logistics. The overall size is
about 1,500 personnel. EU Battlegroups have a readiness to deploy within 5 to 10 days to a
range of possible missions, sustainable for 30 days extendable to 120 days. Battlegroups, as part of the EU's CSDP, offer a stand-by military capability that enables the EU to react to
a crisis situation, if requested to do so by the UN. The stand-by period is for six months.
Participation in EU Battlegroups demonstrates Ireland's commitment to the development of EU capabilities in the area of crisis management and contributes to our overall
credibility within the Union. Experience has shown that Ireland's participation in the Nordic Battlegroup in 2008, 2011 and 2015 and the Austro-German Battlegroup in 2012
has enhanced the Defence Forces' ability to work with other nations in a multinational
environment and has served to enhance the Defence Forces reputation as a provider of a
credible military capability. Ireland will participate in both the German led and the UK led Battlegroups in the second half of 2016.
The Defence Forces participation in Battlegroups also supports Ireland's efforts in securing
partners for UN blue hat operations, due to the close civil and military relationships built through our participation. For example, Finland, which participated in the Nordic
Battlegroup has since partnered with Ireland in Chad and remains partnered with Ireland
Ireland's participation in a specific Battlegroup operation would, as always, be subject to the usual "Triple Lock" requirements of a UN Mandate and Government and Dáil approval,
as appropriate, in accordance with the Defence Acts.
Ireland joined the European Defence Agency (EDA) when it was established in 2004. The
Agency is headed by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
The Mission of the EDA is to support the Council and the Member States in their effort to
improve the EU's defence capabilities in the field of crisis management and to sustain the CSDP as it stands now and develops in the future. The work of the Agency is achieved
through a Steering Board comprising EU Defence Ministers of the participating Member
The EDA's main aims are to support Member States in the area of capability development,
to support greater efficiency and competition in the European defence equipment market
and to support and improve investment in defence and security research and technology.
On a day-to-day basis, the Minister is represented in the EDA by officials from the Department of Defence.
"Pooling & Sharing" is an EU concept which refers to Member States-led initiatives and
projects to increase collaboration on military capabilities. Ireland has been actively
involved in a number Pooling & Sharing projects including Cyber Ranges, Naval Training which Ireland is leading, and C-IED training.
Ireland also supports the Agency's work in capability development and market initiatives
within the framework of CSDP and the relevant treaty provisions and national legislation. NATO PfP
Ireland joined Partnership for Peace (PfP) on 1st December 1999. Participation in PfP is
entirely voluntary. The essence of the PfP programme is a partnership formed individually between each Partner country and NATO, tailored to individual needs and jointly
implemented at the level and pace chosen by each participating government. Ireland's
engagement in PfP is supported through Ireland's Partnership Liaison Office at NATO Headquarters in Brussels.
Ireland's five priority areas of interest are: Co-operation on International Peacekeeping; Humanitarian operations;
Search and Rescue; Co-operation in the protection of the Environment; Co-operation in Marine Matters. In common with other neutral EU Member States who are members of PfP, Ireland
participates in the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP) mechanism for planning in
relation to peace support operations. The scope of Ireland's involvement in PARP is focused on enhancing interoperability so that Defence Forces personnel can operate efficiently and
effectively in a multi-national environment. Ireland is currently formalising the 2016 Partnership Goal package and this will be completed by the second quarter of 2016.
The next NATO Summit takes place on 8th and 9th July 2016 in Warsaw. The Polish are
anxious that this will build on the last Summit in Newport (Wales) and strengthen NATO's
eastern flank. The Minister will be invited to the Summit (details to be confirmed). No
major changes in the PfP area are anticipated at the Summit. Current Peace Support Operations involving the Defence Forces
A key element of Ireland's contribution to international peace and security is the
commitment of personnel to international peace support operations (PSOs) under a UN mandate. As of 8th April 2016, Ireland is contributing 416 Defence Forces personnel to 10
different missions throughout the world. A detailed list of overseas missions and the
number of personnel attached is set out in Appendix 7.
The main overseas mission in which Defence Forces personnel are currently deployed is
the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). The current contingent (51st
Infantry Group) comprises an infantry group of 185 troops, four personnel at Sector West
headquarters and nine personnel at the Force Headquarters in Naqoura. Ireland held command of the joint Irish/Finnish Battalion up to 26 November 2013 when, in accordance
with agreements entered into on the deployment of the joint battalion in June 2012,
Finland assumed command. It is planned that command will revert to Ireland again in November 2016. The next mission in which a sizeable contingent of Defence Forces personnel is currently
deployed is the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) on the Golan
Heights with 139 personnel, including the Deputy Force Commander. The current
contingent (50th Infantry Group) comprises an infantry group of 131 troops and a deployment of eight personnel to the Force Headquarters. The 50th Infantry Group is
tasked primarily to serve as the Force Mobile Reserve within the UNDOF Area of
French Invocation of Article 42.7 of the Treaty of the EU
10 Irish personnel are currently serving in Mali with the EU Training Mission (EUTM Mali).
A recent Memorandum for Government provided that Ireland would put forward a
proposal at the next Force Generation Conference for EUTM Mali, to send up to 10 additional personnel to the mission comprising training personnel and support staff at the
mission headquarters in Bamako. In addition, the Department has approval to initiate
discussions at official level with the UN on the potential deployment of a number of Staff
Officers to the Bamako based headquarters of MINUSMA, the UN mission in Mali. The French Minister for Defence has been informed of Ireland's proposal to seek to increase
numbers in Mali in response to the French invocation of Article 42.7 of the TEU.
Naval Service deployment to the Mediterranean
The first deployment overseas of Irish Naval vessels to assist the Italian Authorities with
the collective effort to save lives in the Mediterranean took place last year when LÉ Eithne
was deployed on 16th May 2015 to assist the Italians in dealing with the migrant crisis.
Two further vessels were also deployed, LÉ Niamh and LÉ Samuel Beckett, and the deployment was completed on 29th November 2015. On 6th April this year, Government granted approved for the despatch of a Naval vessel
with a crew comprising approximately 60 PDF personnel to undertake humanitarian
search and rescue tasks in the Mediterranean. Subject to the operational demands and requirements of the mission, it is intended that there will be two rotations (i.e. three Naval
Service vessels deployed) with each deployment lasting approximately 12 weeks. The role
will be similar to that undertaken in 2015 i.e. to provide a search and rescue capability and
to undertake humanitarian rescue operations at sea in the Mediterranean. Assistance to persons in distress at sea will be provided in accordance with the applicable provisions of
international conventions governing search and rescue situations. The first vessel to
deploy is LÉ Róisín, which departed from the Naval Base, Haulbowline, on Sunday, 1st May
last. Memorandum of Understanding between Department and UK MOD
On 19th January 2015 the Minister for Defence and his UK counterpart signed a
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Department of Defence, Ireland and the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence on the enhancement of bilateral engagement on
certain aspects of Security and Defence Cooperation.
The MOU provides that the participants will prepare a three-year Action Plan that contains
the programme of bilateral cooperation activities for the forthcoming year and sets the intent for the succeeding two years. Various actions provided for within the plan, which is
divided thematically into Policy, Land, Air and Maritime activities, are currently being
1916 Centenary Commemoration Programme
6.1 Department and Defence Forces role in the Centenary Programme
The Department and the Defence Forces, as part of the Government's 1916 Centenary
Commemoration Programme, have been involved in the planning process for up to 150
events on a countrywide basis.
The Department has taken lead responsibility for organising a number of key events in the State Ceremonial element of the Programme. They include, in particular, the Arbour Hill
commemoration for the leaders of the Rising which this year was held on the centenary
date of the Easter Rising itself, 24th April 2016. This event involved a Mass and graveside wreath laying ceremony and was televised live by RTÉ. The Department also has the lead
responsibility for organising the special ceremonies being held to commemorate the
Executions in Kilmainham Gaol of 14 leaders of the Rising and in Cork to mark the
execution of Thomas Kent. These 15 separate ceremonies are taking place on the six anniversary dates between 3rd and 12th May 2016.
The Department has also been the custodian of the register of relatives of those who fought
in 1916. This register has been used to facilitate the issuing of invitations to key centenary
events. In total, this has involved the issue by the Department of some 8,800 separate invitations to relatives to various State events and handling the considerable number of
phone and e-mail enquiries that subsequently arose.
The Defence Forces have participated in all of the major State events and played a major role in both the planning and participation of the parade elements which formed a
significant part of the Easter Sunday commemoration at the GPO in O'Connell Street. Some
2,500 military personnel took part in the parade, as did 100 Civil Defence volunteers.
In a further contribution, since last year the Department and the Defence Forces assigned,
on a temporary basis, three personnel to work full time in the 2016 Project Office in the
Department of Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht. The Defence Forces also undertook an extensive flag delivery programme which involved the formal presentation of a National Flag and a copy of the Proclamation to all 3,257 primary schools in the country. This
programme commenced in September 2015 and was completed in advance of
"Proclamation Day" (15th March last) in the schools. Also, every day since January 1st 2016
and continuing until the conclusion of the Centenary Programme, the Defence Forces are
raising the National Flag at the central median on O'Connell Street opposite the GPO. 6.2 Military Service (1916-1923) Pensions Collection Project
In a further contribution to the Centenary Programme, the Department is cataloguing and
partially digitising the Military Service Pension files in the custody of the Military Archives.
The purpose of the project is to make records and files relating to the period from Easter Week 1916, through the War of Independence and Civil War, available to the public and to
historians. This Collection comprises nearly 300,000 files and since January 2014 there
have been four online releases of material from the Collection.
The project is overseen by a working group comprising representatives of the Department
of Defence, the Defence Forces, the Department of the Taoiseach, the Department of Arts,
Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and the National Archives. A team of archivists is in place and
work on the project will continue to completion no later than 2023. Military Archives Building Project
As part of the commemorative capital programme, one of the key projects that has been
funded for 2016 is the refurbishment and expansion of an existing building to improve access and facilities at the Military Archives which is located in Cathal Brugha Barracks, Rathmines, Dublin 6. The new facility, which was officially opened by the President on 26th
April last, comprises a newly constructed building for the storage of archival material,
including the Military Service (1916-1923) Pensions Collection, and the refurbishment of
an adjoining building to facilitate visitor access to the facility. The date of the official opening coincided with the centenary date of the executions of Francis Sheehy Skeffington,
Patrick Dickson and Thomas McIntyre in Portobello Barracks (now Cathal Brugha
Barracks) in 1916. The total cost of this project amounts to c. €5.2m.
7.1 Government Task Force on Emergency Planning
Following the events of 9/11 the Government established the Government Task Force (GTF) on Emergency Planning. The GTF is the top level structure which gives policy,
direction and coordinates and oversees the emergency planning activities across all
Government Departments and public authorities. The GTF meets every 6-8 weeks and at
least 6-7 times a year and is chaired by the Minister for Defence. The GTF is comprised of Ministers, senior officials of Government Departments, senior
officers of the Defence Forces and An Garda Síochána and officials of other key public
authorities having a lead or support role in Government and national emergency planning. The GTF may designate Subgroups to work on specific areas relating to the development of
national emergency management.
7.1 Office of Emergency Planning
The Office of Emergency Planning (OEP) supports the Minister for Defence in his role as
Chairman of the Government Task Force. The OEP works with Departments and other key public authorities in order to ensure the best possible use of resources and compatibility
across different emergency planning requirements. The OEP also coordinates the work of
various emergency planning Subgroups of the Government Task Force.
Key activities of the OEP include assisting the Minister for Defence to maintain an oversight
of emergency planning and reporting to Government in this regard, and the provision of
expertise and advice with regard to refining and developing national emergency
management arrangements. Finalising a Draft "Strategic Emergency Management: National
Structures and Framework" and a revised National Risk Assessment are two key OEP planned outputs in 2016 (see below).
7.3 Framework for Major Emergency Management
Strategic Emergency Management: National Structures and Framework
Major Emergencies at local and regional level are managed by the Principal Response
Agencies (An Garda Síochána, the Health Services Executive and the local authorities) in
accordance with the Major Emergency Management Framework.
At a national level, the lead responsibility for specific emergency management functions is
assigned to a relevant Government Department (known as the Lead Government
Department (LGD)) and LGDs have been identified for over 40 emergency types. When an
emergency occurs that requires a national level response, a National Emergency Coordination Group, which is chaired by the relevant LGD, is convened. The OEP
contributes to this function by supporting the LGD and by managing the National Emergency Coordination Centre, which was established in 2007.
In 2014, the Government Task Force (GTF) decided that there was a requirement to review
strategic emergency management and to further develop national structures and a framework for strategic emergency management in Ireland.
Throughout 2015, a Subgroup of the GTF (chaired by the OEP) worked with key
stakeholders to develop a new Draft "Strategic Emergency Management: National Structures and Framework",
building on existing national arrangements. During 2015 an
initial draft was prepared and circulated to the GTF for inputs and comments. The OEP and
the Subgroup have been working since then on the inputs received and towards completing
a final revised draft which will be brought to the GTF for approval in due course. 7.4 National Risk Assessment
In 2013, a "National Risk Assessment"
(NRA) conducted under the auspices of the
Government Task Force was noted by Government and submitted to the EU Commission as
part of an overview of NRAs by the EU across member states. With the introduction of
revised EU Civil Protection legislation in 2014, member states are now required to assess their national risk management capabilities every three years, in line with guidance
produced by the EU Commission.
As part of these ongoing EU requirements under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, the Office of Emergency Planning is taking the lead in developing an approach to assessing risk
management capabilities and when completed this review will be submitted to the
Government Task Force.
Defence Forces Equipment
8.1 Naval Service Vessel Replacement Programme
The White Paper on Defence recognises that a minimum eight ship flotilla will be required
to ensure the operational capability of the Naval Service. Currently the eight vessel in the
flotilla are (oldest to new) LÉ Aisling, LÉ Eithne, LÉ Orla, LÉ Ciara, LÉ Roisin, LÉ Niamh, LÉ
Samuel Beckett and LÉ James Joyce. The current Naval Service vessel replacement programme will have replaced three Naval
Service vessels by July 2016. Two of the new ships, LÉ Samuel Beckett (named and
commissioned in May 2014) and LÉ James Joyce (named and commissioned in September 2015) have been delivered and are in full operational service. A third new ship (to be
named LÉ William Butler Yeats) is scheduled for delivery in the middle of this year. LÉ
William Butler Yeats will replace LÉ Aisling in service.
The White Paper provides for the replacement of the current flagship, LÉ Eithne, with a
multi-roled vessel (MRV). LÉ Eithne was built in 1984. In addition, the two existing Coastal
Patrol Vessels, LÉ Ciara and LÉ Orla are due for replacement in the coming years (also built
in 1984). The White Paper provides that these ships will be replaced with similar type
vessels with countermine and counter IED capabilities. Initial work on the replacement strategy is underway in the Defence Organisation but no
strategic decisions have been made as yet.
8.2 Cessna Replacement Programme and other Air Corps aircraft
The equipment priorities for the Air Corps will also be considered in the context of the
White Paper which recognises that there are several new and/or enhanced platforms to be procured.
In the context of the Air Corps fleet, this includes the replacement of the Cessna fixed wing
aircraft. There are currently five Cessna aircraft in operational service with the Air Corps,
all of which were delivered in the early 1970's.
The plan is to replace these five aircraft with three larger single engine aircraft suitably
equipped for Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR)
tasks. The tender documentation is currently being prepared and is expected to be initiated
and advertised on the e-tenders website in the near future.
The two CASA Maritime Patrol Aircraft are due for replacement in 2019. The White Paper
provides that these will be replaced with consideration given to their replacement with larger more capable aircraft to enhance maritime surveillance and to provide a greater
degree of utility for transport and cargo carrying tasks. The seven Pilatus PC9 aircraft,
which operate as the main pilot training aircraft for the Air Corps, are not due for
replacement until 2025. In terms of the rotary fleet, the existing two EC 135 and six AW 139 helicopters will
continue to deliver the required Defence Forces training and other support capabilities
over the lifetime of the current White Paper. 8.3 Equipment Plan/other major equipment purchases
The equipment priorities, including replacement ships, aircraft and the upgrade/
replacement of the Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) will have to be considered in the
context of the lifetime of the White Paper which is over the next decade. As a result of the White Paper, the Department will develop a detailed Capability
Development Plan, building on the work completed as part of the White Paper process.
This Plan will dovetail with the work of identifying and agreeing a new Equipment
Development Plan and the required funding requirements for new equipment, including
new ships, aircraft and APCs. This Equipment Plan will be agreed by the joint civil/military
High Level Planning & Procurement Group (HLPPG) – see below. The current fleet of 80 APCs, and associated variants, are essential for a broad range of
operations (the first 40 of the fleet were delivered early 2000). A study has recently been
conducted to identify whether a life-extension programme, replacement programme or another alternative is the most effective option going forward. It is expected that decisions
in this regard will be made over the coming three months.
A requirement has been identified for a small number (10) of armoured logistic vehicles to
enhance force protection on overseas missions. The tender competition for the acquisition of these vehicles in now in train. In addition, a tender competition for the acquisition of 24
Armoured Utility Vehicles is also underway.
8.4 High Level Planning and Procurement Group (HLPPG)
The HLPPG is a joint civil/military group whose Terms of Reference have recently been
revised (January 2016).
Its role is to develop and implement multi-annual rolling plans for equipment procurement and disposal, and infrastructural development (including property acquisition) based on
the policy priorities in the White Paper.
The HLPPG is chaired on rotation by the Assistant Secretary General (in charge of Finance and Contracts Branches – currently Mr. Des Dowling) and the Deputy Chief of Staff
(Support) – currently Major General Kevin Cotter, or their nominated alternates.
A sub-Group of the HLPPG, known as the HLPPG Working Group (HLPPG WG) is charged with the development of the planning methodology and the preparation of specific plans.
In the context of the Public Spending Code, the HLPPG and HLPPG WG have been assigned
to act as the Sanctioning Authority for (Vote 36) programme expenditure proposals greater than €300,000 (HLPPG WG) and €1m. (HLPPG).
Human Resources in the Defence Forces
9.1 Overall strength
The stabilised strength of the Permanent Defence Force (PDF) is 9,500; comprising 7,520
Army, 886 Air Corps and 1,094 Naval Service personnel. As at 31st December 2015, there was a compliment of 9,140 whole time equivalent
personnel. This figure comprised 7,309 Army, 748 Air Corps and 1,083 Naval Service whole time equivalent personnel. At end of March 2016 the total figure stood at 9,105. The shortfall between these figures and the established strength does not arise as a
consequence of any funding constraints as sufficient provision is made available to fund up
to and including a full complement of 9,500 personnel.
Whilst there are challenges in
predicting the numbers who may retire, the Defence Forces are satisfied that they have the capacity to train sufficient numbers of new entrants to keep pace with retirement levels
and to simultaneously train the additional numbers of new Recruits and Cadets needed to
bring the Force up to the establishment figure of 9,500.
General Service Recruitment
A General Service Recruitment Competition for both the Army and the Naval Service has
recently been launched with induction planned to commence later this year and to continue throughout 2017. The campaign specifically targets increased female recruitment
using social media channels, digital advertisements and the introduction information
programmes for women. It is expected that panels from the 2015 Competition will be
exhausted by September this year, following which inductees will be then be drawn from
panels formed from this year's Competition. Cadet Competitions
A Cadetship competition for the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service has also been launched
recently and it is forecasted that induction will commence in Q3 2016. 9.3 Equality, Gender and Diversity
As at 31st March 2016, there were 552 whole time equivalent female personnel in the
Permanent Defence Force. This represents 6% of the total serving strength of 9,105. The
number of female personnel in the three services of the Defence Forces is set out in the
No. of female personnel
No. of female personnel
A number of specific initiatives have been implemented to increase female participation in the Defence Forces including:
The introduction of best practices in recruitment, such as the adjustment of physical
standards for female applicants;
Special consideration is given to women as a target group for recruitment; There is balanced composition between men and women on recruitment and selection
All promotions and career courses are open to both genders on merit; and A Gender Advisor has been appointed to promote gender equality policies and training
within the Defence Forces.
In terms of increasing diversity, the White Paper notes that this must be actively managed
by the Defence Forces and specific provision is made for the development of a Diversity
and Inclusion Strategy. This seeks to build on existing policies in relation to ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and equality, and to underpin a supportive and challenging
workplace environment where individuality and diversity is respected by all.
9.4 Independent Monitoring Group
The Independent Monitoring Group (IMG) was established in May 2002 to oversee the
implementation of recommendations arising from a report on the extent of harassment, bullying, discrimination and sexual harassment within the Defence Forces. The IMG has
produced reports in 2004, 2008 and 2014. The latter focussed on developments since
2008 and made a total of 35 recommendations which broadly fall under six headings:
Human Resource Management – 3 recommendations
New Entrants – 17 recommendations Personnel Support Services – 6 recommendations Training and Development – 3 recommendations Reserve Defence Force – 3 Recommendations
Continual Review of Progress – 3 Recommendations The Group established to progress implementation of these recommendations continues to make good progress, with 13 recommendations now closed, 21 active and one for future
implementation. This Group is comprised of personnel from both the Department and the
Defence Forces and is chaired by the Assistant Chief of Staff. In addition, an Oversight Group comprising senior personnel from the Defence Organisation, along with
representatives of PDFORRA and RACO, was established to monitor progress in the area of dignity at work.
There are three anti-malarial drugs in use by the Defence Forces, namely Lariam (mefloquine), Malarone and Doxycycline. The choice of medication is a medical decision
made by Medical Officers in the Defence Forces having regard to the specific circumstances
of the mission and the individual member of the Defence Forces. It is the policy of the
Defence Forces that personnel are individually screened for fitness and medical suitability for service overseas, including a medical risk assessment for Lariam.
The State Claims Agency, on behalf of the Minister for Defence, is currently handling 50
cases taken by members, or former members, of the Defence Forces who allege personal injury as a result of their consumption of Lariam. High Court proceedings have been served
in respect of 34 of these cases.
Having regard to current and potential litigation, a Malaria Chemoprophylaxis Working
Group was established in 2011 to examine the use of Lariam and other anti-malarial drugs in the Defence Forces and a Report was produced in June 2013. The Group investigated the
various allegations surrounding the use of Lariam and obtained advice from leading
medical experts. The experts agreed with the practices followed by the Defence Forces in
The Group was re-convened in August 2015 to review issues arising in relation to the use
of Lariam, particularly in the context of the current and potential litigation and, inter alia
also review the use of Primaquine as part of the overall medical treatment process for those deployed to malarious areas.
A report on the Group's findings is expected to be completed, subject to input by the
relevant experts, shortly.
10. Conciliation and Arbitration
Conciliation and Arbitration Scheme
A Scheme of Conciliation and Arbitration (C&A) for members of the Permanent Defence Force was established in 1993 and provides a formal mechanism for the Defence Forces
representative associations, namely the Representative Association for Commissioned
Officers (RACO) and the Permanent Defence Force Other Ranks Representative Association (PDFORRA), to engage with the Official side on matters which come within the scope of the Scheme. In accordance with the provisions of the Defence Act 1954 as amended, the
Defence Forces representative associations are prohibited from being associated with or
affiliated with any trade unions or any other body without the consent of the Minister.
Accordingly the Associations cannot be affiliated to ICTU. The basis for this is that it would be inappropriate to apply the provisions of the Industrial Relations Act 1990 to members of
the Defence Forces, and that the taking of any form of industrial action would be
irreconcilable with military service.
The Defence (Amendment) Act 1990 and Defence Force Regulations (DFR) provide for the
establishment of representative associations for members of the Permanent Defence Force.
The associations that have since been established are RACO (for commissioned officers) and PDFORRA (for enlisted personnel). Although they do not come under the formal C&A
Scheme, provision has also been made in the relevant DFR for representation for members
of the Reserve, by the Reserve Defence Force Representative Association (RDFRA).
Also, the Department interacts with the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) which represents members of the Army Nursing Service.
10.2 Current Issues
Integrated Competency Framework (ICF)
An integrated competency framework has been developed across all ranks which defines
the skills, behaviours and the attitudes that are critical to effective performance within the Defence Forces. The ICF will be officially tabled with the representative associations for
Technical Pay Review
It was agreed by the Department and the PDFORRA that a review of Technical Grades
attracting technical pay would take place as part of the Defence Sectoral Agreement under
the Public Service Agreement 2010-2014 (the Croke Park Agreement). Work is progressing
Given the physical nature of the types of operations and training that members of the
Defence Forces must undertake, it is inevitable that that a certain number of injuries will occur. Whilst efforts continue to be made to reduce the risk of such occurrences, and to
respond appropriately, it is also inevitable that some of these will result in legal
proceedings being taken. The Department's Litigation Branch works with the State Claims Agency in relation to the defence of delegated personal injury claims made against the Minister for Defence.
Litigation Branch also works with the Chief State Solicitor's Office in relation to litigation
regarding administrative decisions relating to Defence Forces personnel that are being challenged by way of Judicial Review or other legal proceedings.
11.2 State Claims Agency
The management of claims against the Department in relation to personal injuries alleged
to have occurred within Ireland, accidents overseas, claims of post traumatic stress
disorder, bullying and other harassment cases have been delegated to the State Claims Agency (SCA) since November 2011.
The SCA also has a role in overseeing risk management and is actively and continuously
engaged with the Department and Defence Forces with a view to reviewing incidents giving rise to claims and trends emerging in order to identify and obviate, if possible, the
underlying causes of injury to civilian and Defence Force personnel.
11.3 Summary of Branch activity
The following table provides a summary of the caseload during each the past two years and
the financial implications for the Defence Vote.
Cases on hand 1st January
New cases received
Cases on-hand 31st December
The main legislation currently in force for which the Minister for Defence has lead
responsibility for is the Defence Act 1954, as amended. This provides the legislative basis for the Defence Forces.
The following is a summary of the main areas of work currently being progressed within
the Department's Legislation Branch. 12.1 Legislation being progressed
Defence Forces (Forensic Evidence) Bill
The principal purpose of this Bill, which mirrors closely the provisions of the Criminal Justice (Forensic Evidence and DNA Database System) Act 2014, is to ensure that the
Military Police has access to DNA testing on a statutory basis (in line, where appropriate,
with the powers of An Garda Síochána under the 2014 Act) in relation to the investigation
of serious crimes involving military personnel. The General Scheme of the Bill was approved by Government in February 2015. The Department is working closely with the
Office of the Parliamentary Council (OPC) in relation to the drafting of this technical piece
of legislation. It is anticipated that a draft Bill will be ready for consideration later this year.
Red Cross Bill
This Bill provides for the independence of the Irish Red Cross Society while also, in
accordance with the State's commitments under the Geneva Conventions, providing for the
protection of the national Society and the emblems of the International Red Cross and Red
Crescent Movement. The Bill, if enacted, will amend and consolidate the existing regulatory framework for the Irish Red Cross Society comprising of the Red Cross Acts 1938 to 1954
and all ancillary secondary legislation. The General Scheme of the Bill was approved by
Government in November 2015 and subsequently forwarded to the Office of Parliamentary
Counsel for drafting. It is anticipated that a draft Bill will be ready for consideration later this year.
The Branch is responsible for the amendment and modernisation of various Defence Force
Regulations (DFRs) made pursuant to the Defence Act 1954. DFRs are made and
prescribed by the Minister for Defence in exercise of the powers vested in him or her by
various sections of the Defence Act 1954.
13. Defence Property
13.1 Existing portfolio
The Defence property portfolio consists of a diverse range of facilities from conventional
military barracks to forts, camps, married quarters and training lands. The principal assets
are the following 14 permanently occupied installations, the majority of which were taken
o Collins' Barracks, Cork o Naval Base, Haulbowline, Co. Cork o Finner Camp, Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal o Cathal Brugha Barracks, Rathmines, Dublin 6 o McKee Barracks, Dublin 7 o St. Bricin's Hospital, Dublin 7 o Defence Force Training Centre, Curragh Camp, Co. Kildare o Sarsfield Barracks, Limerick o Aiken Barracks, Dundalk, Co. Louth o Gormanston Camp, Gormanston, Co. Meath o Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel, Dublin 22 o Custume Barracks, Athlone, Co Westmeath o Stephens' Barracks, Kilkenny o Dún Ui Mhaoilíosa (Renmore) Barracks, Galway
In addition to the permanently occupied installations, Defence also administers four rented
properties, mainly for use by the Reserve Defence Force. Defence has an overall portfolio of some 20,000 acres of land, mainly at the Curragh, the
Glen of Imaal and Kilworth Camp. These provide vital facilities, such as large open spaces
and firing ranges, for military training. A Value for Money Review of Military Training Lands was completed and published in 2010 and a number of efficiency improving
measures were recommended, including the disposal of a number of ranges. Since that
time, two ranges have been upgraded to provide Automatic Marking System facilities for defence personnel training. The modernisation process in Defence identified that the dispersal of personnel over an
extended number of locations is a major impediment to essential collective training and
imposes increased and unnecessary overheads on the Defence Forces in terms of barrack
management, administration, maintenance and security. The consolidation of Defence Forces formations into a smaller number of locations was a key objective of the first White
Paper on Defence (2000).
In accordance with the new White Paper on Defence, the Department and the Defence Forces are producing a rolling five year infrastructure development plan.
The property portfolio includes some 65 married quarters, mainly within the Curragh Camp. In accordance with standing policy, these are being discontinued and disposed of in
a managed and orderly way. Military personnel are obliged, under Defence Force
Regulations, to vacate married quarters within a specified period of being discharged or
retired from the Permanent Defence Force. The term overholder is used to describe former members of the Defence Forces and their families who have refused to leave married
quarters within 21 days of leaving the Defence Forces. Currently there are approximately
38 of the married quarters properties occupied by overholders. The Department is, in
accordance with normal procedure, seeking vacant possession of overheld married quarters and there are currently two cases before the courts and a number of others are
being prepared for court. In recent times, 17 of the houses have been returned by the
occupants to the Department.
13.2 Planned disposals
Since 2008, there have been eight barracks closed under the modernisation programme. In
2008, the Government approved the closure of Monaghan (sold to the VEC), Longford (part
sold to the VEC and part to Longford County Council), Rockhill (sold by public auction) and
Lifford (sold to Donegal County Council). All closed in March 2009. In 2011, the Government approved the closure of Cavan (sold to the VEC), Castlebar (sold
to Mayo County Council), Clonmel (sold to South Tipperary County Council) and Mullingar
(currently licenced to Westmeath GAA Board). These barracks closed in March 2012. The former Magee Barracks in Kildare Town, which closed in November 1998, was sold by
public auction on 11th February 2016 for €8.2m. The only remaining vacant barracks is
Columb Barracks in Mullingar. As mentioned earlier in this Brief in the context of capital funding, the White Paper
provides that 100% of the proceeds from sales of surplus properties from can be
reinvested in the defence capital programme. In practice, necessary adjustments arising from such sales will be made to the following year's capital provision.
14. Civil Defence
Civil Defence is a volunteer based organisation that supports the Principal Response
Agencies (An Garda Síochána, the HSE and the local authorities), Government departments
and state organisations during a wide range of emergencies. This includes dealing with
severe weather events such as the recent floods and also searching for missing persons. Each year, Civil Defence also provides support at over 1,000 community, sporting and
charitable events across the country.
Civil Defence policy at a national level is set down by the Department of Defence. The organisation is managed and developed at national level by the Civil Defence Branch of the
Department. The Branch is based in Roscrea, Co. Tipperary.
At local level, Civil Defence is based locally under the operational control of the relevant
local authority. On a day to day basis these Units operate under the control of a Civil Defence Officer, who is an employee of the local authority. As of December 2015, there
were 3,686 active members listed on the Civil Defence volunteer register. These volunteers
are organised in 29 Units based in each local authority area.
Civil Defence training and operations are funded by a combination of a central grant from
the Department of Defence and a contribution from the relevant local authority on a 70/30
basis. As well as grant aid and policy advice and support, the Department provides other
supports to local Civil Defence Units, such as central training for local instructors. The Department also supplies vehicles, uniforms and personal protective equipment for
volunteers and a wide range of other equipment to local authorities for Civil Defence use.
The White Paper on Defence (2015) establishes that Civil Defence will continue to be developed around its central strategic objective of supporting the Principal Response
Agencies in a variety of emergency and non-emergency situations. This embraces the large
number of support roles under the Framework for Major Emergency Management,
including assistance in dealing with a wide range of emergencies at national and local level. In order to enhance liaison under the Framework and guide the continued development of Civil Defence in response to evolving requirements, the White Paper also provides for the
establishment of a new Inter-agency Guidance Team (IGT) to be led by the Department of
Defence. It is foreseen that the new IGT will help to ensure that Civil Defence services and
capabilities are developed in the light of the needs of the Principal Response Agencies.
15. Irish Red Cross Society
The Red Cross Act 1938 provides for the establishment, by Government Order, of a national
Red Cross Society. Pursuant to this Act, the Society was established by the Irish Red Cross
Society Order 1939, in which the Government set out the basis upon which the Society is
administered. The Order, as amended, provides that the Society's General Assembly shall exercise the powers of the Society, organise the Society and control and manage its affairs.
Whilst the Irish Red Cross Society is an independent charitable body corporate which is
responsible for handling its own internal affairs, Red Cross legislation has traditionally been sponsored and brought to Government by the Minister for Defence. The Department of Defence provides an annual grant to the Society which is a contribution
towards the salary and administration costs of running the Society's headquarters. The
grant in 2016 amounts to €869,000 of which €130,000 represents the Government's
annual contribution to the International Committee of the Red Cross. Following the severe weather and flooding in December 2015, as an exceptional measure
the Government allocated a sum of €5m. to an emergency humanitarian support scheme
for small businesses, community, sporting and voluntary bodies who were flooded and had been unable to secure flood insurance. This scheme was administered by the Irish Red
16. Ombudsman for the Defence Forces
The Office of the Ombudsman for the Defence Forces (ODF) became operational in
December 2005. The Office was established under the Ombudsman (Defence Forces) Act
2004 to provide serving and former members of the Defence Forces with an impartial and
independent review of grievances. The primary role of the ODF is to provide an independent appeals process for members of
the Defence Forces who have processed a complaint through the internal Redress of Wrongs process but remain dissatisfied with the outcome, or the manner in which their complaint was handled. The majority of cases investigated by the ODF concern grievances
from serving members of the Defence Forces about non-selection for promotion, career
courses and overseas service.
At a recent meeting with the Secretary General (February 2016), the following issues were discussed:
The increase in the number of complaints and cases on hands – currently over 100;
The possible development of a mediation mechanism – this would require substantial
policy consideration particularly in light of the existing Redress of Wrongs scheme and
other facilitation mechanisms;
The possible development of a Memorandum of Understanding with the ODF in relation
to financial management and corporate governance.
The current ODF, Mr. Patrick Anthony (Tony) McCourt, was appointed on a part-time basis
(three days per week) for a three year period on 7th November 2012. His term of office has
since been extended by a further 24 months up to 7th November 2017. [Shortly after his appointment in November 2012, legal proceedings were initiated by PDFORRA on the
grounds that Mr. McCourt is a former Officer in the Defence Forces. Their case was rejected
by the High Court but has been appealed, and the case is now awaiting a hearing in the Court of Appeal but no date has been listed.]
The ODF publishes an Annual Report usually within four months of the end of each year.
Due to the High Court proceedings arising during 2013 and continuing through 2014, there
was a delay in publication but this was addressed by the production of a combined report
in respect of both 2013 and 2014. The Annual Report is generally favourable about the interaction of the ODF with the Defence Organisation.
Similar to 2015, the ODF has been allocated a budget for 2016 of €450,000. Expenditure in
2015 amounted to c. €311,000.
17. Army Equitation School
The mission of the Army Equitation School is to promote the Irish horse through
participation in international competition at the highest level, both at home and overseas.
Army riders competing on Irish-bred horses provide an instantly recognisable symbol of
Ireland at prestigious international events. In addition to competition activity, the School provides supports to the Irish horse industry and encourages breeders and producers, who
may have Irish bred horses suitable for top-level competition, to have them assessed by the
School with a view to their possible purchase or lease.
The Army Equitation School is based at McKee Barracks, Dublin and currently has 32
horses in training. These comprise both show-jumpers and event horses. The current
personnel strength of the School is 31 comprising seven Officers (including two Riding
Officers), ten Non-Commissioned Officers and 14 Privates.
For 2016 the School has been allocated a budget of €900,000 of which €350,000 has been
set aside for new horse acquisitions (which may be purchased or leased by the Department
following a trial and recommendation made by a Horse Purchase Board). Typically, no
more than a handful of new horses are acquired each year but when this occurs the Minister, as the registered owner, is invited to name the horse. It is the established practice
to use names which would be readily identified as being Irish. Frequently, place names in
the vicinity of where the horse was bred are used, but on occasions well known place
names, for example Glendalough, are used even though the horse might not have any association with that part of the country. Shortly after each new horse is acquired, the
Department will submit a list of suggested suitable names for the Minister to choose from.
The White Paper provides that the Army Equitation School should continue to promote, at existing levels, the Irish sport horse through participation in competition at home and
abroad, and to support the breeding industry. Building on existing linkages with external
stakeholders, it also proposes that the Department and the School will develop more formal
arrangements with Horse Sport Ireland, Teagasc, the Royal Dublin Society, the National Sports Campus and the Institute of Sport. Furthermore, there is also provision for a review to be undertaken with a view to helping the School to maximise its utility as a platform for
nurturing talent while promoting professionalism and the Irish sport horse.
18. Protected Disclosures Act
The Protected Disclosures Act 2014 was enacted on 15 July 2014. The purpose of the Act is
to provide a statutory framework within which workers can raise concerns and disclose
information regarding potential wrongdoing that has come to their attention in the course
of their work in the knowledge that they can avail of significant employment and other protections if they are penalised by their employer or suffer any detriment for doing so. It
is important to note that in order to enjoy the protections of the Act, disclosures must be
made in accordance with the provisions set out in the Act. If an internal disclosure report is made directly to the Minister he or she may refer the
matter to the Department's Protected Disclosure Officer or he or she may request another
person within the Department to investigate the matter – (the Department has drafted an
interim policy on how to deal with Protected Disclosures, pending the finalisation of Policy
Guidelines by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform). In either case, an officer, if requested by the Minister to investigate any matter referred to him or her will follow the
guidelines when investigating any such disclosure.
Summary of key elements of the
The overall role of the Minister, and flowing from this, that of his/her Department are set
out in sections 1.1, 1.3 and 1.6. By law, the Minister for Defence is the head of the Department of Defence, and as such bears political responsibility for all civil and military
matters, policy and operations. The following is a summary of some of the key elements of
the Minister's responsibilities.
Government meetings and interaction with other Ministers
Defence items that appear on the Cabinet Agenda generally relate to proposals seeking
Government approval for overseas troop deployments – this would occur
approximately six times per annum.
In addition, from time to time Government approval is required to participate in EDA
Category B projects. Two such requests are expected to arise this year. Dáil approval is
One further area where Government approval is required is to participate in EU
Other Ministers that the Minister for Defence would tend to have engagement with are:
o Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade re. overseas deployments. o Minister for Justice & Equality re. domestic security matters. o Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform re. funding for Defence and overall terms
o Minister for Agriculture, Food & the Marine re. the Air Corps and Naval Service role
in fisheries protection.
o Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport re. maritime and aviation security matters. o Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government re. Civil Defence,
emergency planning, and severe weather events.
o Minister for Health re. air ambulance services provided by the Air Corps.
Attendance at State Ceremonial events
On five dates between 3rd and 12th May next, the Department is organising 14 short
ceremonies at Kilmainham Gaol to mark the centenary dates of the executions of the leaders of the 1916 Rising. Ministerial attendance at these ceremonies is being shared
across members of Government.
In addition, the Minister for Defence has traditionally been the host of the annual 1916
Commemoration held outside the GPO each Easter Sunday and at the annual 1916
Commemoration held at Arbour Hill. Plans for these events in 2017 will not be drawn
up until after this year's Centenary Programme has concluded.
Attendance at Military Ceremonial events
Cadet commissioning ceremonies – usually three per annum (one for Army, Air Corps
and Naval Service), the next of which is provisionally scheduled for September 2016 in
the Naval Base, Haulbowline.
Some passing out parades (attestation) for new enlisted Recruits – generally there are
10 to 12 such events per annum, the next of which is scheduled for the Naval Base,
Haulbowline on Thursday 19th May next.
The Minister generally attends the review of troops travelling overseas. The following
reviews are expected to take place during the remainder of 2016:o UNDOF review of 54th Inf. Group – September 2016 – venue tbco UNIFIL review of 55th Inf. Group – November 2016 – venue tbc
Attendance at forthcoming international meetings
Defence informal – two per annum, the next of which will be held in Bratislava on 26th -
27th September 2016.
Foreign Affairs Council and Defence – two per annum, the next of which will be held on
15th November 2016 (venue tbc).
NATO Summit – one per annum, the next of which will be held in Warsaw on 8th – 9th
Visits to troops serving overseas
In recent years the Minister and Minister of State have undertaken at least one visit
each to an overseas mission during the course of the year, usually around St Patrick's
Day and in the autumn.
Last year, the Minister and Minister for State undertook six visits to overseas missions.
Ireland will take over command from Finland of the Infantry Battalion in UNIFIL in
November 2016. It is expected that Ministers for Defence from both countries and the
Force Commander UNIFIL will be invited to attend the Transfer of Authority ceremonyat the Battalion HQ in November 2016.
The Minister for Defence is Chairperson of the Government Task Force on Emergency
Planning which meets approximately six/seven times per annum. The date of the next
meeting has yet to be confirmed but is expected to take place this month.
The Minister has been invited to open an EDA Energy Conference in Dublin on 8th June
Senior Management (Military Officers)
Chief of Staff
Vice Admiral Mark Mellett
Deputy Chief of Staff (Support)
Major General Kevin Cotter
Deputy Chief of Staff (Operations)
Major General Kieran Brennan
Assistant Chief of Staff
Brigadier General Peter O'Halloran
General Officer Commanding 1 Brigade
Brigadier General Philip Brennan
General Officer Commanding 2 Brigade
Brigadier General Michael Beary
General Officer Commanding Defence Forces
Brigadier General Joe Mulligan
General Officer Commanding Air Corps
Brigadier General Paul Fry
Flag Officer Commanding the Naval Service
Commodore Hugh Tully
Summary of operational outputs of the
Defence Forces during 2015
[See Appendix 7 for details of Defence Forces personnel serving overseas.]
Type of Operation
Number of Operations
Central Bank Cash Escorts
Hospital Guard (prisoner)
Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Call-outs
Central Bank Patrols
Shannon Airport Security Duties
Domestically, the Army also provided a year round 24/7 armed guard at Government
Buildings, the Central Bank, Portlaoise Prison, and at an explosives production facility. Also,
the Army provided considerable support to the Local Authorities, the Gardaí and the HSE
during the severe flooding emergency that occurred last December and January.
Type of Operation
Top-cover for Cash Escorts
Garda Air Support Unit (GASU) missions
Inter-Hospital Air Ambulance missions
Emergency Aero-medical Support (EAS) missions
Civil Assistance missions (e.g. bog surveys, flood relief etc.)
Search and Rescue missions
Maritime Patrol missions
Ministerial Air Transport Service (MATS) missions
No. of fishery
A further 262 non-fishery patrol days were also carried out by the Naval Service
domestically, while Operation Pontus below accounted for a further 233 days on patrol.
(humanitarian deployment to the Mediterranean)
No. of rescue No. of persons No. of bodies
16th May – 17th July
10th July – 2nd Oct.
24th Sept. – 29th Nov. LÉ Samuel Beckett
White Paper Implementation Plan
Defence Estimate Vote 36 for 2016
Administration - Pay
Permanent Defence Force: Pay
Permanent Defence Force: Allowances
Reserve Defence Force Pay, etc
Chaplains & Officiating Clergymen: Pay & Allowances
Defence Forces Civilian Support: Pay & Allowances
Air Corps: Aircraft, Equipment & Support
Naval Service: Vessels, Equipment & Support
Barrack Expenses and Engineering Equipment
Defence Forces Built Infrastructure: Construction and
Defence Forces Uniforms, Clothing, Equipment and
Defence Forces Communications and IT
Military Education and Training
Defence Forces Logistics & Travel
Defence Forces Medical and Healthcare Support
Litigation and Compensation Costs
Costs arising directly from Ireland's participation in
Irish Red Cross Society
Appropriation's - in - Aid
Defence Forces Personnel Serving Overseas
at 8th April 2016
(United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) HQ
UNIFIL 51st Infantry Group
Sector West HQ
(United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation) – Israel and Syria
(United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara)
(United Nations Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic
(United Nations Mission in Ivory Coast)
(United Nations Disengagement Observer Force) HQ, Golan Heights,
UNDOF 52nd Infantry Group
UN MANDATED MISSIONS
(EU-led Operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina)
(viii) EUTM Mali
(EU-led Training Mission)
(International Security Presence in Kosovo) HQ
TOTAL NUMBER OF PERSONNEL SERVING WITH UN MISSIONS
ORGANISATION FOR SECURITY AND CO-OPERATION IN EUROPE (OSCE)
OSCE Mission to Bosnia & Herzegovina
(ii) Staff Officer, High Level Planning Group, OSCE HQ, Vienna
TOTAL NUMBER OF PERSONNEL SERVING OSCE
EU MILITARY STAFF
EU BATTLE GROUP 2015
German-led Battle Group 2016 - HQ, STRASBOURG
(ii) UK-led Battle Group 2016, UK
Military Adviser, Permanent Mission to UN, New York
(ii) Military Adviser, Irish Delegation to OSCE, Vienna
(iii) Military Representative to EU (Brussels)
(iv) Liaison Office of Ireland, NATO/PfP (Brussels)
(v) EU OHQ Operation Althea, Mons, Belgium
(vi) Irish Liaison Officer to SHAPE & Military Co-op Division, Mons, Belgium
TOTAL NUMBER OF DEFENCE FORCES PERSONNEL SERVING OVERSEAS
MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEET Perigen® Defence Residual Insecticide Date of Issue: January 5th, 2004 1. IDENTIFICATION OF THE SUBSTANCE / MIXTURE AND SUPPLIER Product name: Perigen® Defence Residual Insecticide Other names: Product code: Recommended A liquid insecticide concentrate for use in general purpose pest control and
Mamm Genome (2007) 18:871–879 Novel repeat polymorphisms of the dopaminergicneurotransmitter genes among dogs and wolves Krisztina Hejjas Æ Judit Vas Æ Eniko Kubinyi Æ Maria Sasvari-Szekely ÆAdam Miklosi Æ Zsolt Ronai Received: 21 May 2007 / Accepted: 21 September 2007 / Published online: 30 November 2007Ó Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007 Genetic polymorphisms of the neurotransmis-