10. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence further to the fact that the Attorney General is examining the possibility of settling pending cervical smear claims following the successful legal action of a person (details supplied), if a similar approach is being taken regarding outstanding Lariam cases in view of the successful legal action in the first Lariam case before the courts in 2017. (Question 20410/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Defence Forces Medicinal Products)

Deputy Clare Daly: The Minister of State is aware that in December last year the State settled the first case for Lariam damage brought by a member of the Defence Forces. No witnesses were called and there was no evidence to defend the case. The man was attacked and it took him four long years before he got the settlement. In light of the decision of the Taoiseach to request the Attorney General to consider withdrawing from the legal actions in the cervical cancer cases, has the Minister of S...

12. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the purpose of the presence of three Royal Navy patrol and training ships in Haulbowline on 27 and 28 March 2018. (Question 20411/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Foreign Naval Vessels)

Deputy Clare Daly: This question relates to the presence of three British Royal Navy patrol and training ships in Haulbowline in March. It is part of a thread of visits involving vessels from foreign navies, including NATO warships. We had a visit from HMS Illustrious, an Invincible class aircraft carried which was involved in the Iraq war, and, in 2016, a flotilla of NATO warships was present during the centenary celebration for the 1916 Rising, which was quite ironic. Why are we allowing Ir...

21. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if he is satisfied that the public and the Houses of the Oireachtas were sufficiently informed in regard to overseas missions (details supplied) as to the make-up of the Defence Forces contingents serving on those missions in view of the fact that in cases in which motions pursuant to section 2 of the Defence (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 1960 were passed approving the despatch of Defence Forces members on overseas missions did not refer to Army Ranger Wing involvement. (Question 20412/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Overseas Missions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 21 and 42 together.
The Army Ranger Wing (ARW) are the Special Operations Forces of the Defence Forces.
Defence Forces personnel, including ARW personnel, are deployed to United Nations peacekeeping missions in accordance with the provisions of the Defence Acts.
The statutory authority for the despatch of contingents of the Permanent Defence Force for service overseas is set out in Section 2 of t...

45. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of Defence Forces personnel who have left in each of the years 2000 to 2017 and to date 2018; the average length of the service; if an analysis has taken place to address the problems of retention; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20413/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Defence Forces Personnel Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 33, 37 and 44 to 46, inclusive, together.
The Defence Forces have a higher level of turnover than other areas of the public service and this is a feature of military organisations internationally.
Rates of pay and conditions of employment in the Permanent Defence Force have traditionally been set by, amongst other things, reference to levels of pay across the various sectors of the Irish public s...

68. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the reason his Department failed to consider propositions supporting a supplementary pension or to conduct a stand-alone review of compulsory retirement ages to facilitate progressing a solution for new Defence Forces commissioned officers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19274/18 asked on 02 May 2018 - Defence Forces Retirements)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 68 to 71, inclusive, together.
A claim in relation to Conciliation Council Report 421 and claims to review the Mandatory Retirement ages for Commissioned Ranks have been received from the Representative Association for Commissioned Officers (RACO) under the Conciliation and Arbitration (C&A;) scheme for members of the Permanent Defence Force. The Deputy will appreciate that as discussions under t...

69. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if a reply will issue to an organisation (details supplied) on the issues relating to the discriminatory nature of superannuation anomalies while factoring in the unique military service conditions of mandatory early retirement. (Question 19275/18 asked on 02 May 2018 - Defence Forces Retirements)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 68 to 71, inclusive, together.
A claim in relation to Conciliation Council Report 421 and claims to review the Mandatory Retirement ages for Commissioned Ranks have been received from the Representative Association for Commissioned Officers (RACO) under the Conciliation and Arbitration (C&A;) scheme for members of the Permanent Defence Force. The Deputy will appreciate that as discussions under t...

70. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his plans to engage with the Ministers for Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform and Employment Affairs and Social Protection and all parties to the CCR 421 agreement in order to ameliorate the superannuation entitlements that target the economic well-being of a particular cohort of Defence Forces commissioned officers. (Question 19276/18 asked on 02 May 2018 - Defence Forces Retirements)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 68 to 71, inclusive, together.
A claim in relation to Conciliation Council Report 421 and claims to review the Mandatory Retirement ages for Commissioned Ranks have been received from the Representative Association for Commissioned Officers (RACO) under the Conciliation and Arbitration (C&A;) scheme for members of the Permanent Defence Force. The Deputy will appreciate that as discussions under t...

71. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his plans to initiate and conclude in a timely manner the review of the mandatory retirement ages in order to allow progress to be made in the provision of a suitable solution to the anomalies identified in the superannuation scheme. (Question 19277/18 asked on 02 May 2018 - Defence Forces Retirements)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 68 to 71, inclusive, together.
A claim in relation to Conciliation Council Report 421 and claims to review the Mandatory Retirement ages for Commissioned Ranks have been received from the Representative Association for Commissioned Officers (RACO) under the Conciliation and Arbitration (C&A;) scheme for members of the Permanent Defence Force. The Deputy will appreciate that as discussions under t...

94. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if the published number of Defence Forces members serving on overseas missions (details supplied) in each relevant year in which the missions were ongoing includes members of the Army Ranger Wing serving on those missions. (Question 17930/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Overseas Missions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 94 and 96 to 98, inclusive, together.
All published numbers of Defence Forces personnel serving overseas includes members of the Army Ranger Wing serving on those missions where relevant.
Personnel from the Army Ranger Wing (ARW) served in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan from October 2006 to March 2007 and from September 2014 to March 2015. They also participate...

96. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence further to Parliamentary Question No. 161 of 17 April 2018, the number of Defence Forces personnel who were in Afghanistan for the two full periods identified (details supplied); and if the number of Defence Forces personnel exceeded 12 during this period. (Question 18019/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Overseas Missions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 94 and 96 to 98, inclusive, together.
All published numbers of Defence Forces personnel serving overseas includes members of the Army Ranger Wing serving on those missions where relevant.
Personnel from the Army Ranger Wing (ARW) served in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan from October 2006 to March 2007 and from September 2014 to March 2015. They also participate...

97. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence further to Parliamentary Question No. 161 of 17 April 2018, the areas in which these persons were located with particular reference to if they were in Helmand province. (Question 18020/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Overseas Missions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 94 and 96 to 98, inclusive, together.
All published numbers of Defence Forces personnel serving overseas includes members of the Army Ranger Wing serving on those missions where relevant.
Personnel from the Army Ranger Wing (ARW) served in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan from October 2006 to March 2007 and from September 2014 to March 2015. They also participate...

98. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if Army Rangers are serving in Afghanistan or on other missions abroad at the present time about which Dáil Éireann has not been informed. (Question 18021/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Overseas Missions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 94 and 96 to 98, inclusive, together.
All published numbers of Defence Forces personnel serving overseas includes members of the Army Ranger Wing serving on those missions where relevant.
Personnel from the Army Ranger Wing (ARW) served in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan from October 2006 to March 2007 and from September 2014 to March 2015. They also participate...

129. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the person with responsibility for final sign-off of Army Pensions Board decisions; and if the Minister of State with special responsibility for Defence is empowered to sign off on same. (Question 15442/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Defence Forces Pensions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Under the Army Pensions Acts 1923-1980 a disability pension or gratuity may, following retirement, be granted to a former member of the Permanent Defence Force (PDF) for permanent disablement due to a wound or injury attributable to military service (whether at home or abroad)  or to a disease attributable to, or aggravated by, overseas service with a United Nations Force.    
The criteria for awarding a disability pension or gr...

161. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if members of the Army Ranger Wing have ever served in Afghanistan; the overseas missions in which members of the unit have served; and if these particular missions have been approved by Dáil Éireann under the triple lock system. (Question 16069/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Overseas Missions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The Army Ranger Wing (ARW) are the Special Operations Forces of the Defence Forces. Personnel from the ARW served in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), Afghanistan from October 2006 to March 2007 and from September 2014 to March 2015.  
Members of the ARW have also served in the following missions:
United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNISOM) in 1993; 
International Force East Timor (INTERFET) from October 1999 ...

108. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if the Army Rangers participated in the recent anti-terrorist exercise at Shannon; and if not, if the Army Ranger Wing is being maintained in order to provide support for European projects such as battle groups rather than anti-terrorist operations within Ireland. (Question 14413/18 asked on 28 Mar 2018 - Army Training Programme)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The White Paper on Defence, published in the Autumn of 2015, considered the security environment including the threat from international terrorism. It notes that the Department of Justice and Equality and An Garda Síochána have primary responsibility for protecting the internal security of the State. The Defence Forces provide, on request, supports in aid to the civil power (ATCP) of an on-going and contingent nature. 
The sec...

51. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if the membership and terms of reference of the medical advisory group to be established by his Department to advise on various medical matters, including malaria chemoprophylaxis, will be made public. (Question 10206/18 asked on 21 Mar 2018 - insertheading)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): As I have outlined to the Deputy previously, I have accepted the recommendations contained in the Working Group’s Second Report on Malaria Chemoprophylaxis in principle, whilst recognising that certain of these recommendations will need to be further developed to allow for their implementation. Many of the recommendations focus on areas including planning, training and education/information sharing as well as the establishment ...

59. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his plans for the acquisition of a multi-role vessel at a cost of approximately €200 million; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 10208/18 asked on 21 Mar 2018 - Defence Forces Equipment)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): My priority as Minister with Responsibility for Defence is to ensure that the operational capability of the Defence Forces is maintained to the greatest extent possible so as to enable the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service to carry out their roles as assigned by Government. 
The most significant investment of recent years by the Defence Organisation has been on the procurement of the new Off-Shore Patrol Vessels for the Naval Se...

66. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if his attention has been drawn to the fact that only 11 privates are left of the 29 that passed out of the 2015 class; and the steps he will take to improve Defences Forces pay and conditions to address the retention crisis. (Question 12524/18 asked on 21 Mar 2018 - Defence Forces Remuneration)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Given the unique and demanding nature of military life, there is understandably a relatively high level of turnover among Defence Forces personnel. This is not new and the Defence Forces have always had a level of turnover that far exceeds other areas of the public service. 
In order to balance personnel turnover there is ongoing recruitment at both enlisted and officer level. 751 personnel were inducted into the Permanent Defe...

4. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the role played by the Naval Service in the arrest of scafisti in the Mediterranean, that is persons who are forced to drive boats and then arrested as human smugglers and in the event of there being an involvement to justify same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 11685/18 asked on 08 Mar 2018 - Naval Service Operations)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): In July 2017, Government and Dáil approval was secured for the deployment of a contingent of the Permanent Defence Force to serve as part of the EU Common Security and Defence Policy naval mission in the Mediterranean, Operation Sophia. Irish Naval vessel L.É. Niamh, subsequently deployed to the Mediterranean from October to December 2017. 
In the course of its deployment in Operation Sophia last year, the crew of L.É. Niamh...

129. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the terms of reference provided to the working group on Lariam established in 2011. (Question 9544/18 asked on 27 Feb 2018 - Defence Forces Medicinal Products)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): A Malaria Chemoprophylaxis Working Group was established in January 2011 and reported in April 2013. The Group was re-convened in August 2015 and reported in October 2017. The purpose of the Group was to review, inter alia, issues arising in relation to the use of Lariam, particularly in the context of the current and potential litigation. 
Both reports were produced by the Working Group in the context of current and potential l...

109. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of recommendations the 2013 report of the working group on Lariam contained. (Question 6584/18 asked on 08 Feb 2018 - Defence Forces Medicinal Products)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 109 to 111, inclusive, together.
As stated previously, the two reports of the Working Group were produced in the context of current and potential litigation and are legally privileged. Therefore, it would be inappropriate to comment in any detail in relation to these reports.  It would also be inappropriate to comment in relation matters such as any papers published by Defence Force Medical Offi...

110. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the recommendations of the 2013 Lariam report that are repeated in the latest report of the working group on Lariam. (Question 6585/18 asked on 08 Feb 2018 - Defence Forces Medicinal Products)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 109 to 111, inclusive, together.
As stated previously, the two reports of the Working Group were produced in the context of current and potential litigation and are legally privileged. Therefore, it would be inappropriate to comment in any detail in relation to these reports.  It would also be inappropriate to comment in relation matters such as any papers published by Defence Force Medical Offi...

111. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the papers published in peer reviewed journals by each Defence Forces medical officer involved in malaria chemoprophylaxis on same. (Question 6591/18 asked on 08 Feb 2018 - Defence Forces Medicinal Products)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 109 to 111, inclusive, together.
As stated previously, the two reports of the Working Group were produced in the context of current and potential litigation and are legally privileged. Therefore, it would be inappropriate to comment in any detail in relation to these reports.  It would also be inappropriate to comment in relation matters such as any papers published by Defence Force Medical Offi...

112. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence further to Parliamentary Question No. 113 of 16 January 2018, the qualifications of the medical experts consulted as part of the work of the working group on Lariam; and the medical qualifications of members of the working group, in view of the fact that legal privilege does not attach to information regarding a person’s qualifications. (Question 5325/18 asked on 06 Feb 2018 - Defence Forces Medicinal Products)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The Working Group’s Report was produced in the context of current and potential litigation and is therefore legally privileged. This includes all the information about the group and information regarding the qualifications of any members of the Group who may appear as expert witnesses in any related litigation where their qualifications as experts would be an issue in the ordinary course of litigation.
 ...

118. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if each of the Defence Forces medical officers involved in the use of malaria chemoprophylaxis hold additional qualifications in tropical disease and medicine; and if so, the additional qualifications in each case. (Question 5770/18 asked on 06 Feb 2018 - Defence Forces Medical Services)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I am informed by the military authorities that all Defence Forces Medical Officers have a clinical commitment to patients, and as such could be involved in the preparation and examination of personnel for overseas deployment which may include the assessment of suitability for and prescription of malaria chemoprophylaxis.
All Defence Forces Medical Officers must possess at a minimum the professional qualifications of Medical Bach...