659. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of vacancies currently in the Naval Service; his plans to expand the service up to 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8431/17 asked on 21 Feb 2017 - Naval Service Staff)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe) (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The numerical establishment of the Naval Service is 1,094 personnel. As of the 17th February, 2017, the strength figure stood at 1,056. Plans are in place to run new General Service and Cadet recruitment competitions in the coming weeks. The recruits from these competitions will help fill current vacancies and help reach the overall establishment figure of 9,500 personnel for the combined elements of the D...