11. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his plans to introduce flexible working time and shift arrangements to improve the work-life balance for Defence Forces members in particular for those who have family commitments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20437/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Defence Forces Personnel)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The achievement of an effective balance between the demands of the workplace and the home is important for the long-term welfare and development of the Defence Forces. Family-friendly working conditions and operational effectiveness are both possible. The Defence Forces will continue to develop appropriate work-life balance initiatives to assist personnel whilst ensuring that defence capability is maintained. A range of initiati...

51. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of members of the Defence Forces that are in receipt of FIS and HAP; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 3658/18 asked on 24 Jan 2018 - Defence Forces Personnel Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The circumstances surrounding an application for Family Income Supplement or Housing Assistance Payment, is a private matter between the applicant and the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection or Local Authority, as appropriate. Various factors can give rise to such claims, with household income and the number of dependents being key variables.
It should be noted that despite the difficult economic environment w...

69. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his views on reports that proper security clearance has not been given to new recruits in the Defence Forces; his plans to rectify this; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44045/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Defence Forces Personnel)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Security vetting, which is a matter for the military authorities, has a number of layers and is conducted in conjunction with an Garda Síochána. The process has changed and modernised in recent years and is kept under ongoing review.
The Military Authorities have kept me appraised of any changes in procedure and have confirmed to me that the security vetting procedures in place are both necessary and appropriate. For operation...

37. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of legal advisers that are employed by the Defence Forces; the cost of training such legal advisers; if the said personnel are required to reimburse the State for the training; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 32481/17 asked on 11 Jul 2017 - Defence Forces Personnel Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The role of Legal Officers employed by the Defence Forces is to advise the Chief of Staff on legal matters pertaining to the Defence Forces. Separately, legal advice for the Minister is provided by the Office of the Attorney General. I am informed that there are currently a total of seven (7) Legal Officers employed in the Legal Service Branch of the Defence Forces. It is difficult to itemise training costs specifically attri...

38. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his views on the fact that 20% of Defence Forces personnel are in receipt of family income supplement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 33826/16 asked on 09 Nov 2016 - Defence Forces Personnel)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe) (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Rates of remuneration and conditions of employment in each part of the Irish public sector have traditionally been set by reference to levels of pay available in related public sector employments. In this regard, the level of remuneration in the Defence sector has maintained relativity with the levels available in other related public sector employments.
I fully appreciate that many of our citizens are facin...

839. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if he will change the rule disallowing members of the Defence Forces from serving if they have had laser eye surgery; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20887/16 asked on 12 Jul 2016 - Defence Forces Personnel)

Taoiseach and Minister for Defence (Deputy Enda Kenny): There are a number of physical and medical standards laid down by the Military Authorities, including specified vision requirements, for entry to, and for continuance in service with, the Defence Forces. These requirements are based on the professional advice of the Medical Corps and having regard to the nature of the job, the duties of military service and the training exercises undertaken by members of the Defence Forces.
The question of...