Minister Killeen Addresses PDFORRA Conference
The Minister for Defence Mr Tony Killeen TD last evening addressed the Annual Delegate Conference of the Permanent Defence Force Other Ranks Representative Association at the Knightsbrook Hotel, Trim, Co Meath.
[UKPRwire, Wed Oct 06 2010] Speaking at the Conference Minister Killeen noted the difficult times presently faced by Ireland.
In commenting on the major contraction of the Irish economy the Minister said: “The current financial situation precludes the Government from providing the level of resourcing as was available to the Defence Forces in previous years and this is in line with the broader public service”.
He continued: “Despite the harsh economic circumstances the Defence Forces are in good shape to meet their obligations. Comprehensive reform of the Defence Forces and an extensive investment programme over the last decade has ensured the organisation is in a healthy state to maintain outputs within a reduced budgetary provision”
Minister Killeen commended the Permanent Defence Forces “for continuing to deliver high quality public service.”
The Minister said that he is aware of the impact that the moratorium on recruitment, promotion and acting appointments has had on the Permanent Defence Force particularly, in light of the very high turnover rate that is part of any military organisation.
Its impact has been monitored on an ongoing basis in conjunction with the Chief of Staff and the Department officials. Specific requirements were identified and limited exceptions to the moratorium were obtained from the Minister for Finance.
“Within the context of consolidating the public finances, the Government is focused firmly on maintaining the operational efficiency of the Permanent Defence Force,” said Minister Killeen.
He advised that targeted recruitment is being carried out in 2010 and he has approved the recruitment of 40 Naval Service Recruits, limited recruitment to the Army and the intake of 30 Cadets from the Cadetship Competition 2010.
Agreement has been reached with the Department of Finance on the Employment Control Framework (ECF) for the Defence Forces. This agreement will result in recruitment and promotion being delegated back to the Department of Defence subject to ongoing control monitoring by the Department of Finance.
Minister Killeen acknowledged the demands placed on personnel who serve overseas and on their families and stated that while deployment to the Congo was at a huge human cost in terms of those who lost their lives, the dedication to duty of those who served in the Congo became a benchmark for all future peacekeeping missions.
The Minister confirmed that options for future deployment are being developed by Civil and Military management and subject to their advice he would expect to be in a position to consider the proposals and bring forward recommendations to Government as appropriate towards the end of the year.
Minister Killeen concluded by outlining that the challenge of managing the exceptionally harsh economic climate requires exceptional courage and public service in its purest form.
The Minister stated “I know that if we work together in the true spirit of public service that a brighter future lies ahead. I am confident that this future will see the continued modernisation of the Defence Force. I wish you all every success for the remainder of your conference and I look forward to working with you into the future.”
Notes to Editor:
- For further information please contact Mark Dunphy of Dunphy Public Relations on 00353868534900 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- High-resolution images of Minister Killeen are available on request