482. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Defence if he has received a request to send personnel from the Irish Defence Forces to West Africa to help in the effort to deal with the Ebola crisis; his views on the way the Irish Defence Forces might assist in future international efforts to address the crisis. (Question 41575/14 asked on 04 Nov 2014 - Defence Forces Operations)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): The Department of Defence has received requests for assistance from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Irish Aid agencies for possible Defence Forces participation in the response to the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone. 
The Department in consultation with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Department of Health and a number of Irish NGOs are currently considering the matter. 
 ...

544. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Defence the total number of new appointments made in his Department and those under his remit since March 2011 to date in 2014, with a breakdown of the grade to which they were appointed during the period. (Question 35118/14 asked on 17 Sep 2014 - Departmental Appointments)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): The Defence Organisation includes civil servants, military personnel and civilian employees. 
The tables below show the total number of new appointments made from March 2011 to date in 2014. The new appointments listed below include the filling of vacancies through open external competitions. 
Civil Service Staff of the Department 
 Grade 01/03/2011 – 31/12/2011 2012 2013 01/01/2014 – 12/09/2014 Secretary General Nil Nil 1 Nil Ser...

539. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Defence the position regarding the review being undertaken into the age limits applicable to serving members of the Defence Forces who joined after 1994; and if he will advise on the prospects for members who entered the Defence Forces after 1994. (Question 2807/14 asked on 21 Jan 2014 - Defence Forces Personnel)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): I propose to take Questions Nos. 538 and 539 together. 
The unsatisfactory age and fitness profile of the Permanent Defence Force was an issue of serious concern during the 1990s and was the subject of severe criticism by a series of external reports, mainly Price Waterhouse Consultants and the Efficiency Audit Group (EAG). One of the key areas identified for urgent action by the EAG was the development of a manpower policy with an emphasis on lowerin...