680. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the steps he is taking to provide members of the Defence Forces the right to join a trade union; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 22000/17 asked on 09 May 2017 - Defence Forces Representative Organisations)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Under the terms of the Defence (Amendment) Act, 1990 the Defence Forces Representative Associations are prohibited from being associated with, or affiliated to any trade unions, or any other body. Accordingly, the Representative Associations cannot be affiliated to ICTU. The basis for the prohibition is that it would be inappropriate to apply the provisions of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990 to members of the Defence Forces...