72. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of vacancies at each rank in the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19311/18 asked on 02 May 2018 - Defence Forces Strength)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I am advised by the Military Authorities that the strength of the Permanent Defence Force, at 31 March 2018, the latest date for which figures are available, was 8,993 (Whole Time Equivalent) comprising 7,229 Army, 717 Air Corps and 1,047 Naval Service Personnel. The attached table outlines the total vacancies by rank, based on the agreed establishment for the Permanent Defence Force of 9,500. In this context, it is my intention...

108. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the estimated cost of expanding the strength of the Defence Forces to 10,500 personnel; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8265/18 asked on 20 Feb 2018 - Defence Forces Strength)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The White Paper on Defence (2015) sets out Government policy on Defence for the next decade. It commits to retaining flexible and adaptable defence capabilities for a broad range of scenarios and sets out capability requirements including personnel and equipment in this regard. In this context, it is important that an appropriate balance is maintained between personnel costs and equipment investment.
In December 2011, the Govern...

333. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the criteria for calculating the minimum number of Defence Forces personnel serving in the three branches; if it is calculated on a pro rata basis equivalent to the State’s population; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 21017/17 asked on 03 May 2017 - Defence Forces Strength)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): In December 2011, the Government decided to stabilise the strength ceiling of the Permanent Defence Force (PDF) at 9,500 personnel. This had followed a phased reduction in numbers over previous years. Accordingly, the establishment strengths of the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service were revised in the relevant Defence Forces Regulation. The relevant Regulation provides that the PDF shall comprise an establishment of 7,520 Army...

1462. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the estimated cost of increasing the Defence Forces personnel to a compliment of 9,500 and 10,500. (Question 19542/17 asked on 02 May 2017 - Defence Forces Strength)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): As of 28 February 2017 (the latest date for which figures are available), the serving strength of the Permanent Defence Force was 9,070 whole-time equivalent personnel. The pay allocation for the Permanent Defence Force in 2017 is €417 million and this amount will allow for the payment of the full establishment of 9,500 personnel in accordance with the current organisation structures. The Government is committed to maintaining...

404. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if the number of specialist explosive ordnance personnel has fallen from 24 in 2014 to 16 in 2017; if the number available for bomb disposal operations is 11 due to the fact the five remaining personnel are on training courses or serving overseas; and if the EOD section of the Defence Forces lost its capacity to deliver world class benchmark of expertise due to the fact his Department has no retention policy to keep qualified personnel. (Question 18870/17 asked on 13 Apr 2017 - Defence Forces Strength)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Paul Kehoe T.D.): For security and operational reasons it would be inappropriate for me to comment on the disposition and specific Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) capabilities of the Defence Forces. 
However, the military authorities have confirmed that, having regard to ongoing benchmarking with international organisations and Agencies in the field of EOD, no drop off in the De...

1328. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if he will provide a comparative breakdown of Defence Force personnel from 2009, prior to the introduction of cuts arising from the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Acts of 2009 to 2015 and the public service stability agreement 2013-2018, the Lansdowne Road agreement, with current levels. (Question 12836/17 asked on 21 Mar 2017 - Defence Forces Strength)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Following a comprehensive review of expenditure commenced in 2011 , the Government decided to stabilise the strength ceiling of the Permanent Defence Force (PDF) at 9,500 personnel. A major reorganisation of the Defence Forces was initiated, encompassing the consolidation of three under-strength Army Brigades into two full-strength Brigades. The decision to reorganise the Defence Forces was not motivated by the requirement to...