Minister committed to rooting out 'few bad apples' in Defence Forces

ireland
Minister Committed To Rooting Out 'Few Bad Apples' In Defence Forces Minister Committed To Rooting Out 'Few Bad Apples' In Defence Forces
The general secretary of representative group PDFORRA said issues regarding working time, allowances and pay could inhibit recruitment numbers. Photo: PA Images
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Vivienne Clarke

While efforts were being made to make the forces safer, there were still “a few bad apples” who the Minister for Defence was determined to “root out”, the general secretary of PDFORRA Gerard Guinan has said.

The association represents 6,500 members of the Defence Forces.

Mr Guinan was speaking on RTÉ Radio’s Morning Ireland prior to the group’s annual delegate conference in Ballybofey, Co Donegal.

When asked if he thought the Defence Forces were safe for women, Mr Guinan said a lot needed to be done to increase the recruitment of women, adding the Defence Forces should be safe for everyone.

He also acknowledged a recent survey found that 87 per cent of members were unhappy with the current grievance process within the Defence Forces.

A recruitment campaign was due to be launched shortly to attract more members, but issues regarding working time, allowances and pay could inhibit numbers, he warned.

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Personnel levels remain low, with the naval service being particularly strained which meant more time at sea for members, he said, adding there had been a net loss of 300 personnel this year.

PDFORRA is awaiting a briefing on a report into the experiences of women in the Defence Forces, but had contributed via a female sub-committee, he said.

“[The Defence Forces] should be safe for everybody. There are still a few bad apples and the Minister is committed to rooting those out,” Mr Guinan added.

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