64. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the recruitment targets for the 2018 intake in view of the opening of RDF recruitment to take place in April 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 10196/18 asked on 21 Mar 2018 - Defence Forces Recruitment)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The White Paper on Defence (2015) provides for a Permanent Defence Force (PDF) strength of 9,500 personnel and the Government is committed to ensuring that the PDF reaches this strength level. In this context, the Government has ensured that there is sufficient funding in place to provide for a full strength of 9,500 PDF personnel. 
The PDF has a higher turnover level than other elements of the Public Service and this is not a ...

48. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of qualified physical training instructors the Defence Forces has to oversee annual fitness tests, recruit induction fitness tests and general physical training; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 3655/18 asked on 24 Jan 2018 - Defence Forces Recruitment)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 48 and 50 together.
Application for General Service Recruitment to the Defence Forces in conducted on-line and all correspondence with applicants is conducted via e-mail. Candidates must successfully complete fitness testing, online psychometric testing and interview in order to progress through the competition. Following these stages of the recruitment process, successful applicants may be pla...

50. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the length of time it takes between a potential member submitting the online application to join the Defence Forces and when they formally begin training; the steps being taken to speed up the process; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 3657/18 asked on 24 Jan 2018 - Defence Forces Recruitment)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 48 and 50 together.
Application for General Service Recruitment to the Defence Forces in conducted on-line and all correspondence with applicants is conducted via e-mail. Candidates must successfully complete fitness testing, online psychometric testing and interview in order to progress through the competition. Following these stages of the recruitment process, successful applicants may be pla...

52. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if he will report on the results of campaigns to encourage the recruitment of more women into the Defence Forces; if these campaigns are proving successful; his plans to continue these campaigns into 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44048/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Defence Forces Recruitment)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The Government is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for men and women in the Defence Forces and to the full participation by women in all aspects of Defence Forces activities. This is underlined by a commitment in the Programme for Government to increase the level of female participation in the Defence Forces. A number of specific initiatives have been implemented to increase the level of female participation. These ...

25. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the level of success the recent recruitment drives have had in attracting female members to the Defence Forces; his views on whether the target of 10% of the Defence Forces being comprised of female members as set out in the 2015 White Paper on Defence will be reached; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15523/17 asked on 29 Mar 2017 - Defence Forces Recruitment)

Deputy Fiona O’Loughlin: Before I put my question, I would like to extend my sympathy on the tragic passing of Dara Fitzpatrick, Mark Duffy, Ciarán Smith and Paul Ormsby. I commend the rescue services in Waterford, which helped searched for and find the body of Dave Ryan, who was tragically killed in an air accident and who was my sister-in-law’s father.
My question concerns the actions taken to address the lack of female applicants to the Defence Forces and the retention policies planned to en...

16. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his plans to introduce measures to ensure a larger and dedicated contribution of female Defence Forces members in peacekeeping operations, taking into account UN Resolution 1325 which acknowledges the disproportionate impact of armed conflict on women and girls; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 33973/16 asked on 09 Nov 2016 - Defence Forces Recruitment)

Deputy Brendan Ryan: I am interested to hear the Minister’s response on what he will do to build a first national action plan for UN Resolution 1325, which was introduced by a previous Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, the former Deputy Eamon Gilmore and former President Mary Robinson, and how the follow-up national action plan 2015-2018 is progressing.
 ...

34. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his views on the levels of recruitment to the Defence Forces; his further views on whether the levels of recruitment are matching the levels of persons leaving or retiring from the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 33829/16 asked on 09 Nov 2016 - Defence Forces Recruitment)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe) (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 34 and 204 together.
The Government is committed to maintaining the stabilised strength of the Permanent Defence Force at 9,500 personnel, comprising of 7,520 Army, 886 Air Corps and 1,094 Naval Service as stated in the 2015 White Paper on Defence. I am advised by the Military Authorities that the strength of the Permanent Defence Force, at 30 September 2016, was 9,044, compr...

18. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the status of the current recruitment programme for the Defence Forces; the stated objectives of the new campaign to recruit more women and to engage with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, minority communities and new citizens; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17138/16 asked on 21 Jun 2016 - Defence Forces Recruitment)

Deputy Brendan Ryan: I ask this question to seek further detail from the Minister of State on his plans to recruit members of the Permanent Defence Force from the LGBT community, minority communities and new citizens and to increase the percentage of women in the Permanent Defence Force from 6% to 12%. The Defence Forces have a proud record at home and abroad and I am sure this tradition would benefit from having an increased number of members from diverse backgrounds.
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