36. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the details of purchase of Israeli-made drones to be used by his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20431/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Defence Forces Equipment)

Deputy Gino Kenny: I would like the Minister of State to comment on the continuing purchase of Israeli drones by the Irish Defence Forces.
 ...

8. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the details of contracts with Israel for the purchase of arms to be used by his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20432/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Defence Forces Equipment)

Deputy Gino Kenny: I would like the Minister of State to comment on the continuing purchase of Israeli drones by the Irish Defence Forces.
 ...

5. Deputy John Halligan asked the Minister for Defence the number of drones purchased by the Irish Defence Forces over the past decade; the reason for their purchase; the cost of same; the level of usage these drones have seen; if these tracking devices have been made available to An Garda Síochána as an aid to its intelligence gathering agencies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52919/13 asked on 11 Dec 2013 - Defence Forces Equipment)

Deputy John Halligan: I acknowledge the drones purchased are used to enhance the information gathering capability of the Defence Forces in overseas operations and to protect the Irish troops. I am interested to know whether the Irish Army is in possession of armed drones. The Minister may be aware that in 2008, an Irish Army drone disappeared in Africa following a technical error. Is the Minister aware of any instances of expensive Irish drones going missing since 2008?
 ...

35. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if he will report on the contracts for purchase of arms by his Department, whether one-off or continual, to be used by his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20434/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Defence Forces Contracts)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The primary focus for the procurement of defensive equipment, including weaponry and ammunition by the Department of Defence is to maintain the capability of the Defence Forces to fulfil the roles as assigned by Government. This includes undertaking overseas Peace Support Operations, and in this regard to afford the greatest possible force protection to Irish troops whilst on all missions. Equipment priorities for the Army, Nava...

71. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the position regarding the recent purchase of drones to the value of €1.9 million from Israel by the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 23969/17 asked on 17 May 2017 - Defence Forces Contracts)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 51, 60, 62 and 71 together. 
The primary focus for the procurement of defensive equipment by the Department of Defence is to maintain the capability of the Irish Defence Forces to fulfil the roles as assigned by Government. This includes undertaking overseas Peace Support Operations, and in this regard to afford the greatest possible force protection to Irish troops whilst on all missions.
The ...

62. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the amount spent on drones and other equipment procured from Israel since 2013; his future plans on procuring equipment from Israel; and his views on whether in view of Israel’s appalling human rights record it is unethical and against the wishes of the vast majority of persons that Ireland continues trading with Israel. (Question 23197/17 asked on 17 May 2017 - Defence Forces Contracts)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 51, 60, 62 and 71 together. 
The primary focus for the procurement of defensive equipment by the Department of Defence is to maintain the capability of the Irish Defence Forces to fulfil the roles as assigned by Government. This includes undertaking overseas Peace Support Operations, and in this regard to afford the greatest possible force protection to Irish troops whilst on all missions.
The ...

234. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence further to Parliamentary Question No. 62 of 17 May 2017, the number of firms that submitted tenders for the contract on the purchase of drones for the Defence Forces; the names of all such companies, the countries in which each firm was based; the difference in monetary terms between the value of the contract awarded and the next lowest tender; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 48378/17 asked on 15 Nov 2017 - Defence Forces Contracts)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 231 to 235, inclusive, together.
The primary focus for the procurement of defensive equipment by the Department of Defence is to maintain the capability of the Irish Defence Forces to fulfil the roles as assigned by Government. This includes undertaking overseas Peace Support Operations, and in this regard to afford the greatest possible force protection to Irish troops whilst on all missions. 
T...

23. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the total cost of the defence budget as a percentage of GDP in 2015. (Question 33816/16 asked on 09 Nov 2016 - Departmental Expenditure)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe) (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Defence expenditure for 2015, in respect of Vote 35 (Army Pensions) and Vote 36 (Defence), was €898m which is 0.35% of GDP. The expenditure for 2015 was comprised of some €671m in Defence expenditure and €227m in Army Pensions expenditure. 
On the Defence Vote, some €459m was expended on the pay and allowances of Defence Forces personnel, civilian employees and civil servants of the Department.
With regard...

51. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his views on Ireland increasing its purchasing of military hardware from Israel; his further views on whether these purchases are ethical in view of recent conflict in the region; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 23083/17 asked on 17 May 2017 - Defence Forces Contracts)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 51, 60, 62 and 71 together. 
The primary focus for the procurement of defensive equipment by the Department of Defence is to maintain the capability of the Irish Defence Forces to fulfil the roles as assigned by Government. This includes undertaking overseas Peace Support Operations, and in this regard to afford the greatest possible force protection to Irish troops whilst on all missions.
The ...

80. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Defence if he will provide a list of the inventory of both weapons and equipment in use by the Defence Forces, currently produced by Israel and purchased from Israeli industrial bodies, which have been purchased and are in use by the Irish Defence Forces in line with European Union procurement rules which abide by international embargoes and treaties; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15918/15 asked on 22 Apr 2015 - Defence Forces Equipment)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): The information sought is being compiled and will be forwarded to the Deputy as soon as possible. 
 ...

135. Deputy Pat Deering asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if Ireland purchases weapons from Israel; and if so, the amount of money spent in the past five years. (Question 2760/18 asked on 23 Jan 2018 - Defence Forces Equipment)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The primary focus for the procurement of defensive equipment by the Department of Defence is to maintain the capability of the Irish Defence Forces to fulfil the roles as assigned by Government. This includes undertaking overseas Peace Support Operations, and in this regard to afford the greatest possible force protection to Irish troops whilst on all missions. 
The principle of competitive tendering for Government contracts is...

36. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if he will rule out the future procurement of any Israeli technology through the European Defence Agency for use by the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 33656/16 asked on 09 Nov 2016 - Defence Forces Equipment)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe) (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The primary purpose for the procurement of defensive equipment by the Department of Defence is to enhance the capability of the Irish Defence Forces and to afford the greatest possible force protection to Irish troops on overseas Peace Support Operations.
The principle of competitive tendering for Government contracts is used by the Department of Defence for the acquisition of defensive equipment for the Defe...

138. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Defence if he will acknowledge the concerns raised by members of the Defence Forces that Irish military hardware and equipment being purchased from Israel and from the Israeli industrial sector is causing a moral dilemma for soldiers, as they do not want to handle said equipment due to the suffering of the Palestinian people; and his views on whether quoting European Union arms procurement rules is a comprehensive enough explanation in respect of the concerns of the Irish Defence Forces members, who are members of a sovereign national army. (Question 19335/15 asked on 09 Jun 2015 - Defence Forces Equipment)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): I refer the Deputy to my reply earlier today on this matter, where I stated that I have been advised by the military authorities that they are not aware of any member of the Defence Forces raising concerns regarding the procurement of such equipment from Israel, nor have I been made aware directly of any such concerns.
The matter of barring Israeli companies from entering tender competitions for the provision of military goods would be akin to Ireland...

14. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn asked the Minister for Defence the value of weaponry and equipment for military purpose purchased from Israel or Israeli companies or planned to be purchased from Israel or Israeli companies since March 2011. (Question 20052/14 asked on 07 May 2014 - Defence Forces Equipment)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): A number of Israeli companies have successfully tendered for and have been awarded contracts by the Department of Defence for the provision of defensive equipment to the Defence Forces as a result of competitive tender competitions. This is not a new development and has been the situation for many years.
The principle of competitive tendering for Government contracts is used by the Department of Defence for the acquisition of defensive equipment, inclu...

233. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the contracts awarded to Israeli companies for the purchase of equipment, goods or services procured from Israeli based firms and companies over the past ten years by his Department or the Defence Forces; the value of each contract awarded; the nature of the goods procured under each contract; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 48377/17 asked on 15 Nov 2017 - Defence Forces Contracts)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 231 to 235, inclusive, together.
The primary focus for the procurement of defensive equipment by the Department of Defence is to maintain the capability of the Irish Defence Forces to fulfil the roles as assigned by Government. This includes undertaking overseas Peace Support Operations, and in this regard to afford the greatest possible force protection to Irish troops whilst on all missions. 
T...

60. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the value of contracts for equipment, goods or services procured from Israeli-based firms and companies over the past five years by the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 23277/17 asked on 17 May 2017 - Defence Forces Contracts)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 51, 60, 62 and 71 together. 
The primary focus for the procurement of defensive equipment by the Department of Defence is to maintain the capability of the Irish Defence Forces to fulfil the roles as assigned by Government. This includes undertaking overseas Peace Support Operations, and in this regard to afford the greatest possible force protection to Irish troops whilst on all missions.
The ...

231. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if there are live tenders for the purchase of equipment such as armaments, clothing, ammunition, vehicles and so on; if there are contracts for the purchase of defensive equipment due to go to tender within the next six months; if so, the type of defensive equipment to be purchased, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 48375/17 asked on 15 Nov 2017 - Defence Forces Contracts)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 231 to 235, inclusive, together.
The primary focus for the procurement of defensive equipment by the Department of Defence is to maintain the capability of the Irish Defence Forces to fulfil the roles as assigned by Government. This includes undertaking overseas Peace Support Operations, and in this regard to afford the greatest possible force protection to Irish troops whilst on all missions. 
T...

644. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if the failure to address the manning crisis in the Defence Forces since 2013 is a planned measure to create the necessary payroll savings to purchase essential equipment platforms. (Question 15159/17 asked on 28 Mar 2017 - Defence Forces Funding)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The Permanent Defence Force (PDF) pay provision in Vote 36 Defence provides for, and is fully funded to meet, the payroll costs of the target strength of 9,500 personnel.
Despite the required reduction in public sector funding and reduced resource envelope available in recent years, ongoing recruitment to the PDF has continued. The White Paper on Defence has confirmed the Government’s commitment to maintain PDF strength at the ...

33. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if he will consider launching a full investigation into possible negative health effects of drugs used on members of the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 33817/16 asked on 09 Nov 2016 - Defence Forces Medicinal Products)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe) (Deputy Paul Kehoe): At the outset, I want to assure the deputy that the military authorities and I place high priority on the health and welfare of the men and women of the Defence Forces.
The provision of medicines is an integral part of the medical service provided to members of the Defence Forces. I am informed that the range of medications used by the Defence Forces, and the effects of those medications, is kept under revie...

45. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views on the petition signed by more than 22,000 persons highlighting the arms trade with the state of Israel presented to An Taoiseach by members of an organisation (details supplied) on 4 October 2017. (Question 51490/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Arms Trade)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I am aware of the petition referenced by the Deputy, which was presented to the Taoiseach in October and has since been brought to my attention.
I am pleased to inform the House that Ireland does not have an arms industry and is not therefore an exporter of weapons to any country, other than a small amount of sporting guns. National legislation imposes a licensing requirement in respect of items on the EU Common Militar...

1214. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if he is satisfied with the adequacy of the Defence Forces in meeting emergencies in a security or natural disaster situation; if he continues to develop the Army, Naval Service and Air Corps in line with requirements to meet such contingencies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 9765/16 asked on 17 May 2016 - Defence Forces Strength)

Taoiseach and Minister for Defence (Deputy Enda Kenny): My priority as Minister for Defence is to ensure that the operational capacity of the Defence Forces is maintained to the greatest extent possible.
The Department of Justice and Equality and An Garda Síochána have primary responsibility for the internal security of the State. However, one of the roles assigned to the Defence Forces in the White Paper on Defence is to provide Aid to the Civil Power (ATCP) which, in practice, means to assist...

134. Deputy Declan Breathnach asked the Minister for Finance his plans to regulate for insurance for hobby drone users; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the two insurance companies here underwritten by UK companies that offer insurance cover for drones will not cover drones used by amateurs and hobbyists; if his attention has been further drawn to the fact that there have been a number of accidents and damage to property caused by drones operated by amateurs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15299/17 asked on 28 Mar 2017 - Insurance Coverage)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): The Deputy’s  question seems to refer to the issue of whether the State should make it a requirement for drone users to have insurance cover before drones can be used, because of the risk of third party damage. In this regard, it should be noted that insurance for activities is not generally a compulsory  requirement, with the obvious exception of motor insurance. Any decision to make it compulsory would have to be made by those more familiar with ...

13. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Defence the amount spent to date in 2014 on weaponry; the amount that was purchased from Israel; the projected purchase of weaponry from Israel for 2015; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 34573/14 asked on 18 Sep 2014 - Defence Forces Expenditure)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): The primary purpose for the procurement of weaponry and defensive equipment by the Department of Defence is to maintain the capability of the Irish Defence Forces on overseas Peace Support Operations and to afford the greatest possible force protection to Irish troops whilst on such missions. The amount spent on weaponry by the Department including ammunition stands at €10.6m to date. I am advised that the Department of Defence has acquired no weapon...

235. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if EU legislation, the EUROMED agreement or the EU Neighbourhood Agreements provide for the refusal to award a contract for the purchase of military or defensive equipment in circumstances in which there is reason to believe that the equipment may have been used or manufactured by those involved in the commission of significant atrocities and human rights abuses; the circumstances in which such provisions may be enacted; if such provision may be enacted by a member state unilaterally; if the government has ever enacted such provision; if he has ever sought or received legal advice on this matter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 48379/17 asked on 15 Nov 2017 - Defence Forces Contracts)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 231 to 235, inclusive, together.
The primary focus for the procurement of defensive equipment by the Department of Defence is to maintain the capability of the Irish Defence Forces to fulfil the roles as assigned by Government. This includes undertaking overseas Peace Support Operations, and in this regard to afford the greatest possible force protection to Irish troops whilst on all missions. 
T...

232. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the live and upcoming tenders for the purchase of defensive equipment; the date of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 48376/17 asked on 15 Nov 2017 - Defence Forces Contracts)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 231 to 235, inclusive, together.
The primary focus for the procurement of defensive equipment by the Department of Defence is to maintain the capability of the Irish Defence Forces to fulfil the roles as assigned by Government. This includes undertaking overseas Peace Support Operations, and in this regard to afford the greatest possible force protection to Irish troops whilst on all missions. 
T...

240. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Defence further to Parliamentary Question No. 611 of 6 April 2016, wherein he stated there is no arms trade from Ireland to Israel, to clarify his position regarding the Irish purchase of Israeli goods; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6898/16 asked on 14 Apr 2016 - Defence Forces Equipment)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): I refer to the answer to Parliamentary Question Number 611 of 6 April 2016 given by my colleague the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade.
I would refer the Deputy to Parliamentary Question Number 75 which I answered on 24 November 2015 in which I outlined to the House the position with regard to the procurement of defensive equipment for the Defence Forces by the Department of Defence from Israel.
I have also explained the purpose of such equipment...

24. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence for details of the oversight by Dáil Éireann of the participation of Irish troops in a British-led EU battle group in May 2016; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16650/16 asked on 21 Jun 2016 - EU Battle Groups)

Deputy Gino Kenny: Will the Minister for Defence provide details of the oversight by Dáil Éireann of a participation of Irish troops in a British-led EU battle group in May 2016, and will he make a statement on the matter?
 ...

63. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his plans to meet with PDFORRA; his views on the right of the Defence Forces to have a representative body to discuss issues such as low pay; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 32597/17 asked on 11 Jul 2017 - Defence Forces Representative Organisations)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 43 and 63 together.
The Defence (Amendment) Act 1990 and Defence Force Regulations (DFR) provide for the establishment of representative associations for members of the Permanent Defence Force. The associations that have since been established are RACO (for commissioned officers) and PDFORRA (for enlisted personnel). 
A Scheme of Conciliation and Arbitration (C&A;) for members of the Permanent D...

571. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if he shares the views of his predecessor, who stated he wanted Ireland to become a testing zone for advanced military and weapons guidance systems (details supplied); and if he will assure Dáil Éireann that he does not wish Ireland to become a haven for firms trading or researching such weapons of mass destruction. (Question 16783/16 asked on 21 Jun 2016 - Defence Forces Operations)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe) (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I support my predecessor’s view that there is an ongoing requirement to examine new and innovative means of improving capabilities in the security and the defence domain, so that the Defence Forces are in a position to undertake the roles assigned by Government. 
The Government approved arrangements in July 2011, whereby Enterprise Ireland (EI) would support the Department of Defence and Defence Forces capa...

42. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the weapons and equipment his Department or the Defence Forces purchased in each of the years 2014 to 2016 to date; that they plan to purchase in the coming year, detailing the value and nature of the purchase and the country and companies from which these purchases were or will be made; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16894/16 asked on 21 Jun 2016 - Defence Forces Equipment)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe) (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The Defence Organisation routinely publishes details of Purchase Orders for goods and services valued at more than €20,000. This information is published on the Department of Defence website – www.defence.ie.
The Department has published details of Purchase Orders including those placed for weapons and equipment by the Defence Organisation for the years 2014 and 2015. I am advised that a small number of Pur...

14. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Defence the locations to which Defence Forces’ unmanned aerial vehicle systems have been deployed operationally in the past three years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 46645/13 asked on 06 Nov 2013 - Defence Forces Equipment)

Deputy Thomas Pringle: This question relates to the Defence Forces’ unmanned aerial vehicle assistance, or drones as they are more commonly known. Drones have been in the news a lot in the last year or so. We do not have any offensive drones in the Defence Forces. I am interested to see where they have been used operationally over the past couple of years.
 ...

1958. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the projects his Department is prioritising in Budget 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 26139/16 asked on 16 Sep 2016 - Budget 2017)

Taoiseach and Minister for Defence (Deputy Enda Kenny): The White Paper on Defence, published in 2015, sets out the roles that Government have assigned to the Defence Forces and the priorities for future investment in equipment and infrastructure. 
For Budget 2017, the priority is to ensure that the Defence Forces are adequately funded to continue to deliver operational outputs, both at home and overseas, and to facilitate investment in essential equipment and infrastructure, as identified in th...

37. Deputy Michael Colreavy asked the Minister for Defence his plans for the procurement of new equipment for the Irish Defence Forces in 2013. (Question 29120/13 asked on 18 Jun 2013 - Defence Forces Equipment)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): The acquisition of new equipment for the Defence Forces remains a focus for me as Minister for Defence. However, it is imperative that the Department and the Defence Forces, similar to all other Government Departments, must take into account the current difficult economic environment we are now operating in. The budgetary situation will continue to dictate the level of funding available for new equipment and upgrades. Decisions will be made accordingly...

286. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Defence his views on the Defence Forces’ policy of purchasing weapons from countries engaged in conflicts contrary to the UN charter; if he will provide a manifest on purchases of military hardware, outlining from what nations these have been or are planned to be acquired; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43149/14 asked on 11 Nov 2014 - Defence Forces Equipment)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): The primary purpose for the procurement of defensive equipment by the Department of Defence is to maintain the capability of the Irish Defence Forces on overseas Peace Support Operations and to afford the greatest possible force protection to Irish troops whilst on such missions. Tender competitions for defensive equipment for the Defence Forces are conducted by the Department of Defence in accordance with EU procurement guidelines and are open to an...

37. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if he will outline areas of budgetary concern within the Defence Forces and his views that these concerns will be addressed in budget 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 27103/16 asked on 27 Sep 2016 - Budget 2017)

Taoiseach and Minister for Defence (Deputy Enda Kenny): The White Paper on Defence, approved by Government in 2015, set out the roles that Government have assigned to the Defence Forces and looked at associated capability requirements for the next decade. This document will inform strategic decisions on resource allocation and will ensure that such decisions will continue to be made on a prioritised basis in accordance with assessed operational need. For Budget 2017, the priority is to ensure t...

109. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence the extent to which his Department receives requests for upgrading military equipment, and will accede to same throughout the Defence Forces, in the coming year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7346/15 asked on 18 Feb 2015 - Defence Forces Equipment)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 106 and 109 together. 
I am satisfied that the level of resources available to the Defence Forces, including training resources and equipment, enables them to carry out their roles, both at home and overseas. The main overseas missions in which Defence Forces personnel are currently deployed are the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in Syria....

588. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his views on the comments made by Permanent Defence Force Other Ranks Representative Association, that Irish soldiers should be given a choice of whether to use the anti-malaria drug Lariam, in particular, in respect of criticisms by a British defence committee of the drug; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17297/16 asked on 21 Jun 2016 - Defence Forces Medicinal Products)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I am aware of the British Defence Committee report, its conclusions and the reported comments of the Permanent Defence Force Other Ranks Representative Association. However, the choice of malaria chemoprophylaxis for use by other armed forces is an internal matter for those forces. It would be inappropriate for me to comment on other States’ policy in this regard. The health and welfare of the men and women of the Irish Defen...

106. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence the extent to which his Department continues to monitor the vintage of Army equipment and vehicles, with particular reference to the need to ensure adequate and normal replacement and reliability; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7343/15 asked on 18 Feb 2015 - Defence Forces Equipment)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 106 and 109 together. 
I am satisfied that the level of resources available to the Defence Forces, including training resources and equipment, enables them to carry out their roles, both at home and overseas. The main overseas missions in which Defence Forces personnel are currently deployed are the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in Syria....

237. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if he is aware that the introduction of lifetime community rating in health insurance has meant that those over 34 years of age are now being forced to purchase indemnity health insurance plans they do not require for the sole purpose of negating the future impact of age levies imposed by these new regulations when they retire from the Defence Forces (details supplied); and the engagement he has had with the Department of Health to examine how this issue may be addressed. (Question 18755/16 asked on 29 Jun 2016 - Health Insurance Community Rating)

Taoiseach and Minister for Defence (Deputy Enda Kenny): Lifetime Community Rating (LCR) Regulations, S.I. No. 312 of 2014, became applicable with effect from 1 May 2015.  Under LCR, community rating is modified to reflect the age at which a person takes out private health insurance. Late entry loadings are applied to the premiums of those who join the health insurance market at age 35 or over. The LCR Regulations stipulate that no loading is applied to an insured person if, on 1st May 2015, th...

173. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Defence if the Defence Forces have purchased or intend to purchase any drone aircraft for surveillance purposes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39967/13 asked on 25 Sep 2013 - Defence Forces Equipment)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): The Defence Forces currently operate an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle System, commonly referred to as UAVs. Following a tender competition, an order for two portable mini Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems and associated spare parts and training was placed with Aeronautics Defence Systems Limited in May 2007. The UAV systems were acquired to enhance the capability of the Defence Forces to carry out surveillance and target acquisition for Peace Support Opera...

133. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Defence further to Parliamentary Question No. 80 of 22 April 2015, if he is aware of the moral conflict facing Defence Forces personnel who do not wish to handle or work with Israeli-made equipment and weaponry; if he will have dialogue with these Defence Forces members; if he will address these serious issues; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 21297/15 asked on 09 Jun 2015 - Defence Forces Equipment)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): As I outlined to the Deputy in my reply to Parliamentary Question No. 80 of 22 April 2015, the primary purpose for the procurement of defensive equipment by the Department of Defence is to maintain the capability of the Irish Defence Forces on overseas Peace Support Operations and to afford the greatest possible force protection to Irish troops whilst on such missions.
I am advised by the military authorities that they are not aware of any member rais...

29. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the extent to which military equipment, including transport, communications and procedures in the Army, continues to be upgraded and improved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 10724/18 asked on 06 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 acquisition of new equipment and equipment upgrades for the Defence Forces remains a clear focus for me, and future equipment priorities for the Defence ...

9. Deputy Mick Barry asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if Ireland will block progress towards the establishment of a common European fund for military research and co-operation to prevent the further militarisation of the EU; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15486/17 asked on 29 Mar 2017 - European Defence Action Plan)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The College of Commissioners adopted the European Defence Action Plan on 30 November last. This 
Commission proposal has yet to go through the wide ranging and extensive EU procedures before any part of it becomes a reality.
The aim of the Plan is to explore how EU policies and instruments can ensure that the EU’s industrial and skills base will be able to deliver required defence capabilities in view of current and future secu...

121. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence the extent to which military training and equipment continues to be updated in line with international requirements with particular reference to members of the Defence Forces serving overseas on EU deployments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35063/14 asked on 18 Sep 2014 - Defence Forces Equipment)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): I am satisfied that the level of resources available to the Defence Forces, including training resources and equipment enables them to carry out their roles, both at home and overseas. The main overseas missions in which Defence Forces personnel are currently deployed are the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in Syria. The recent incidents involving Irish troops in UNDOF are te...

50. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the degree to which the Army, Naval Service and Air Corps continue to be upgraded to the highest international standards in respect of training, transport, air and seagoing craft and technology with a view to ensuring maximum performance ability in all situations and deployments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39803/16 asked on 13 Dec 2016 - 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 acquisition of new equipment and equipment upgrades for the Defence Forces remain a clear focus for me, and the White Paper on Defence published in 2015 ...

7. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Defence the capital purchases of military equipment made to date in 2012 and planned for the remainder of this year; the total cost of those purchases; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39483/12 asked on 20 Sep 2012 - Defence Forces Equipment)

Deputy Paul Kehoe: Investment in new equipment and the upgrading of existing equipment for the Defence Forces is provided for under various subheads of the Defence Vote relating to defensive equipment, transport, aircraft, Naval Service ships and stores, and information and communications technology. I am advised that the 2012 provision for the purchase of defensive equipment and ammunition is €27.5 million. This allows for the acquisition of a range of priority defensive equipment and munitio...

61. Deputy Fiona O’Loughlin asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the way in which partnerships have been encouraged between the Defence Forces and the private sector in the County Kildare area with a view to increased research, innovation and enterprise development; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39822/16 asked on 13 Dec 2016 - Defence Forces)

Taoiseach and Minister for Defence (Deputy Enda Kenny): There is an ongoing requirement to examine new and innovative means of improving capabilities in the security and the defence domain, so that the Defence Forces are in a position to undertake the roles assigned by Government.
 On that basis, the Government approved arrangements in July 2011, whereby Enterprise Ireland (EI) would support the Department of Defence and Defence Forces capability development through engagement with Irish-based e...

163. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the extent to which the Defence Forces are adequately equipped to deal with emergencies in respect of which they might be called upon; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 13112/18 asked on 21 Mar 2018 - Defence Forces Equipment)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 163 and 164 together.
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 to enable the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service to carry out their roles as assigned by Government.
At National level, representation on the Government Task Force on Emergency Planning by both the Department ...

299. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his plans to continue prescribing Lariam to members of the Defence Forces; if consideration is being given to the withdrawal of this medication from the range of anti-malarial medications made available to the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 30521/17 asked on 29 Jun 2017 - Defence Forces Medicinal Products)

Taoiseach and Minister for Defence (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Malaria is a serious disease and is a threat to any military force operating in areas where the disease is prevalent. There are three anti-malarial drugs in use by the Irish Defence Forces, namely Lariam (mefloquine), Malarone and Doxycycline. The choice of medication for overseas deployment, including the use of Lariam, is a medical decision made by Medical Officers in the Defence Forces, having regard to the specific circumstances of th...

1947. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence further to Parliamentary Question No. 2 of 8 October, 2015 (details supplied) if Lariam was still being supplied in the Irish market on 1 August 2016; the date it was or will be discontinued; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 24864/16 asked on 16 Sep 2016 - Defence Forces Medicinal Products)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe) (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Roche Products (Ireland) Limited informed the Defence Forces Director Medical Branch that it planned a discontinuation of Lariam from the Irish Market with effect from 31st July 2016 and indicated that its decision was based on a commercial assessment. Drugs are purchased by the Defence Forces under the four year framework agreement on the Supply and Pricing of Medicines, between the Irish Pharmaceutical Heal...