11. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his plans to introduce flexible working time and shift arrangements to improve the work-life balance for Defence Forces members in particular for those who have family commitments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20437/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Defence Forces Personnel)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The achievement of an effective balance between the demands of the workplace and the home is important for the long-term welfare and development of the Defence Forces. Family-friendly working conditions and operational effectiveness are both possible. The Defence Forces will continue to develop appropriate work-life balance initiatives to assist personnel whilst ensuring that defence capability is maintained. A range of initiati...

14. Deputy James Browne asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the supports provided for members of the Defence Forces who undergo traumatic experiences while serving on UN mandated missions. (Question 20397/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Defence Forces Personnel Data)

Taoiseach and Minister for Defence (Deputy Leo Varadkar): I can assure the Deputy that the Defence Forces are fully aware of the importance of providing robust supports for personnel who require them, whatever the reason.
A range of medical and non-medical services are provided to ensure that Defence Forces personnel are medically fit to undertake the duties assigned to them and to treat any medical condition that may arise.
As a matter of policy, psychiatric and psychological services, as well ...

27. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if an exit snapshot survey or interview has been carried out by the Defence Forces on members leaving the force; if so, the findings of the survey; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20386/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Defence Forces Personnel Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Military life places unique physical and psychological demands on individuals and given the rigors of military life, there is understandably a relatively high level of turnover among Defence Forces personnel. This is not new and the Permanent Defence Force has always had a level of turnover that far exceeds other areas of the public service.
Exit questionnaires are given to personnel as part of the administrative processing of t...

33. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the steps that have been taken or are being taken to address the difficulties in both recruiting and maintaining members of the Defence Forces, including the reintroduction of the service commitment scheme, in view of the loss of trained specialist Defence Forces personnel to the private sector and the restoration of the security duty allowance payable for weekend duties to 2010 levels; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20211/18 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...

37. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the steps that have been taken to address difficulties regarding recruitment to the Defence Forces in respect of the Public Service Pay Commission report published in May 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20212/18 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...

44. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of personnel who have exited the Defence Forces, excluding mandatory retirements, to date in 2018; the overall number he anticipates for 2018, excluding mandatory retirements; his views on the fact that the current pay and conditions of the Defences Forces are forcing personnel to consider employment in other areas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20426/18 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...

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...

46. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of personnel serving in the Permanent Defence Forces to date; the projected enlistment by the end of 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20428/18 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...

54. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of non-commissioned officers that have retired from each branch of the Defence Forces in each of the past five years to date; his plans for their replacement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20721/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Defence Forces Personnel Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe) (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 54 and 55 together.
The Permanent Defence Force has always had a level of turnover that far exceeds other areas of the public service. This is a necessary feature of military organisations and allows for continuous renewal, promotions etc.
The following table sets out the numbers of commissioned officers and non-commissioned officers that left for each of the years from 2002 t...

55. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of commissioned officers that have retired from each branch of the Defence Forces in each of the past five years to date; his plans for their replacement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20722/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Defence Forces Personnel Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe) (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 54 and 55 together.
The Permanent Defence Force has always had a level of turnover that far exceeds other areas of the public service. This is a necessary feature of military organisations and allows for continuous renewal, promotions etc.
The following table sets out the numbers of commissioned officers and non-commissioned officers that left for each of the years from 2002 t...

80. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of new recruits in the Defence Forces since 2011; and the number of those recruits who are no longer in the Defence Forces. (Question 20390/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Defence Forces Personnel Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The following table sets out the number of general service recruits inducted for each of the years 2002 to 2017 inclusive. It does not include those in cadetships. Data collated by the military authorities does not track individual entrants but is collated in the aggregate. As set out in the table, it is not unusual to have more than 20% of any annual recruitment intake leave during induction training.  
 Year Number...

99. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if media reports that in 2016 it cost the taxpayer €15 million to replace Defence Forces personnel that left were accurate; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19817/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Defence Forces Personnel Data)

Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 99 to 101, inclusive, together.
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 Permanent Defence Force has always had a level of turnover that far exceeds other areas of the public service. This is a necessary feature of military organisations and allows for continu...

100. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of members of the Permanent Defence Force in whole-time equivalent terms, that left the service in each of the years 2013 to 2017, for reasons other than retirement; the branch of the service of each; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19818/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Defence Forces Personnel Data)

Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 99 to 101, inclusive, together.
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 Permanent Defence Force has always had a level of turnover that far exceeds other areas of the public service. This is a necessary feature of military organisations and allows for continu...

101. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the estimated savings that would be made in terms of training and recruitment if the numbers leaving the Permanent Defence Force in 2018 for reasons other than retirement were halved relative to 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19819/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Defence Forces Personnel Data)

Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 99 to 101, inclusive, together.
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 Permanent Defence Force has always had a level of turnover that far exceeds other areas of the public service. This is a necessary feature of military organisations and allows for continu...

76. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of Defence Forces personnel who have incurred injuries or illness in the course of their duties in each of the years 2015 to 2017; the number of Defence Forces personnel on public hospital waiting lists as a consequence of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18316/18 asked on 25 Apr 2018 - Defence Forces Personnel Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The maintenance of a cadre of personnel capable of meeting the physical demands of a career in the Defence Forces is a key human resources requirement. The provision of medical services by the Defence Forces is designed to ensure that Defence Forces personnel are medically fit to undertake the duties assigned to them. The granting of sick leave or the administration of medical treatment is not a determination on how injuries or ...

144. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of former PDF members in receipt of disability allowance as a result of injury sustained from their time served with the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15964/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Defence Forces Personnel Data)

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 gratui...

31. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the timeframe for implementation of the recent decision of the European Committee of Social Rights on the collective bargaining rights of Defence Forces personnel. (Question 10465/18 asked on 21 Mar 2018 - Defence Forces Personnel)

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: What steps does the Department intend to take following the decision in February by the European Committee of Social Rights on the granting of collective bargaining rights to members of the Defence Forces? How does the Minister of State intend to implement the decision?
 ...

32. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the measures he will take in the wake of the decision by the European Committee of Social Rights on the entitlement of members of the Defence Forces to better collective bargaining and negotiating rights; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 10530/18 asked on 21 Mar 2018 - Defence Forces Personnel)

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: What steps does the Department intend to take following the decision in February by the European Committee of Social Rights on the granting of collective bargaining rights to members of the Defence Forces? How does the Minister of State intend to implement the decision?
 ...

160. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of women in each branch of the Defence Forces at all ranks; the extent to which these numbers have fluctuated in each of the past five years to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 13109/18 asked on 21 Mar 2018 - Defence Forces Personnel Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The number of female personnel (Whole Time Equivalent) serving at all ranks in the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service over the last five years is set out in the table below, together with the current strength as of 31 January 2018: 
 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Army 450 464 458 476 496 482 Air Corps 31 35 33 33 34 35 Naval Service 65 64 61 59 70 70 Total 546 563 552 568 600 587...

116. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of serving Defence Forces personnel from County Wexford. (Question 5734/18 asked on 06 Feb 2018 - Defence Forces Personnel Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I am informed by the military authorities that 208 personnel serving within the Defence Forces list Wexford as their county of birth.
 ...

4. Deputy Mick Barry asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of engine room articifer vacancies that exist in the Naval Service; his plans to fill same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 3489/18 asked on 24 Jan 2018 - Defence Forces Personnel)

Deputy Mick Barry: I wish to ask the Minister of State about the number of engine room artificer vacancies that exist in the Naval Service and his plans to fill them.
 ...

13. Deputy Mick Barry asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of technical grade vacancies that exist across the Defence Forces; his plans to fill them; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 3351/18 asked on 24 Jan 2018 - Defence Forces Personnel Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The Government is committed to maintaining the strength of the Permanent Defence Force at 9,500 personnel, as set out in the White Paper on Defence.
To achieve this, there is significant on-going recruitment. In 2017 some 751 new personnel were inducted into the Permanent Defence Force, comprising of General Service Recruits, Cadets and specialists for the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service. As of the 31st of December 2017, the s...

51. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of members of the Defence Forces that are in receipt of FIS and HAP; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 3658/18 asked on 24 Jan 2018 - Defence Forces Personnel Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The circumstances surrounding an application for Family Income Supplement or Housing Assistance Payment, is a private matter between the applicant and the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection or Local Authority, as appropriate. Various factors can give rise to such claims, with household income and the number of dependents being key variables.
It should be noted that despite the difficult economic environment w...

56. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of members of the Defence Forces that have returned in each of the past five years to date; the number of new recruits by way of replacement in the same period; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 3676/18 asked on 24 Jan 2018 - Defence Forces Personnel Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The table shows the number of personnel who were discharged over the past five years and the number of new personnel inducted for the same period.
    2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Discharges  445 (of which 85 Recruits) 469 (of which 105 Recruits) 556 (of which 62 Recruits) 655 (of which 128 Recruits) 700 (of which 175 Recruits) Inductions  445 508 405 690 751 

Discharges includes personnel who left for a varie...

144. Deputy Mick Barry asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the reason bestowing on the Defence Forces the rights contained in the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 has not been progressed over the past year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 3371/18 asked on 23 Jan 2018 - Defence Forces Personnel)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The implications of the Working Time Directive and its implementation, in respect of the Defence Forces, under the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997, have been the subject of an intensive and on-going review by my Department for some time.  A blanket exemption in respect of Defence Forces activities under the Act is currently in place. 
My Department has concluded an audit of the activities of the Defence Forces, with a vie...