6. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his plans to stop the purchase of Israeli-made drones by the Defence Forces. (Question 20430/18 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.
 ...

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.
 ...

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 ...

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...

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...

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 ...

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...

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...

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?
 ...

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...

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...

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 ...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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. 
 ...

506. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn asked the Minister for Defence the steps his Department is undertaking during procurement of defensive equipment by his Department to ensure human rights due diligence is undertaken; and regarding public procurement from Israeli security company Elbit, if he will consider reviewing further public contracts from this supplier in view of its alleged involvement in illegal activities. (Question 21694/15 asked on 09 Jun 2015 - 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 with the EU Cod...

459. Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Defence if he will provide further details on his recent visit to Israel, Lebanon and Palestine; if he discussed the peace process with the various Governments; if the issue of the continued building of Israeli settlements was discussed with the Israeli Government; and if he discussed or negotiated new arms deals with the Israeli Government. (Question 15160/13 asked on 26 Mar 2013 - Middle East Peace Process)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): During the period 9 to 15 March 2013, I visited Lebanon, Israel and Palestine. My visit to Lebanon afforded me an opportunity to see, at first hand, the dedication and professionalism of military personnel and the tremendous work done overseas by the Irish Defence Forces personnel serving as part of a joint Irish/Finnish battalion with the United Nations Interim force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in south Lebanon. I conveyed to the troops our deep appreciation...

31. Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Defence if he will rule out the 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 54708/12 asked on 12 Dec 2012 - Defence Forces Equipment)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): The Deputy will appreciate that the principle of competitive tendering for Government contracts has to be used by the Department of Defence for the acquisition of defensive equipment for the Defence Forces. Central to those procedures is the requirement to allow fair competition between suppliers through the submission of tenders following advertising of the tender competition on the e-tenders site or on the European Defence Agency’s Electronic Bulleti...

6. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Defence the steps he has taken to ensure that the Irish Defence Forces cease to engage in any arms trade with Israel. (Question 25094/15 asked on 25 Jun 2015 - Defence Forces Expenditure)

Deputy Clare Daly: I do not believe that the US is responsible for everything. The state of Israel is responsible for quite a bit, and that is the subject matter of my next question. The Minister is aware that the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign launched a campaign to try to ensure that Ireland would play a role as a neutral country in delivering an arms embargo on Israel. As the Minister is aware, we have bought and received a lot of military hardware from the Israelis. Does the Minis...

5. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn asked the Minister for Defence his plans to continue to buy military hardware from Israeli companies. (Question 34813/14 asked on 18 Sep 2014 - Defence Forces Contracts)

Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn: This is the same as a question the Minister dealt with earlier, but I want to develop it a little further. Undoubtedly, it is of considerable concern to the people of Ireland that we are involved in commerce with the arms business in Israel. I got the Minister’s response to my letter. Regardless of the framework, we must make our own decisions in these matters.
 ...

75. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Defence further to Parliamentary Question No. 6 of 25 June 2015, if he has been involved in any recent discussions at European Union level regarding the import and export of arms from Israel; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41206/15 asked on 24 Nov 2015 - Defence Forces Equipment)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): I have not been involved in any discussions at European Union level regarding the import or export of arms from Israel. I have previously outlined to the Deputy and the House the position with regard to the procurement of defensive equipment by the Department of Defence. 
I have also explained the scale and type of such equipment that the Department has acquired from Israeli companies in recent years and the purpose of such acquisitions which is to a...

349. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he is aware of the recent report produced by Defence for Children International, entitled Operation Protective Edge A War Waged on Gaza’s Children, and the alarming evidence of international humanitarian law violations committed by Israeli forces, including direct attacks on children and the disproportionate attacks on civilian homes, schools and residential areas, with 164 children killed in drone attacks during Israel’s assault on Gaza; if the Government will place an immediate arms embargo upon the state of Israel in view of this evidence and in defence of children who are especially vulnerable to humanitarian law violations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16706/15 asked on 28 Apr 2015 - Middle East Issues)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): During my recent visit, I witnessed at first hand the devastating human and physical impact of the 2014 conflict in Gaza. I met with victims of the conflict, including a father who had lost a child. I have also repeatedly condemned the excessive use of military force by Israel in Gaza both during and after the conflict, and also stated clearly that both Israel and Hamas were disregarding the effects of their actions on innocent c...

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...

560. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade given the recent killing of civilians by the Israeli Defence Forces, if he will re-examine Ireland’s role in pursuing an arms embargo against Israel. (Question 36451/15 asked on 20 Oct 2015 - Middle East Issues)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The recent upsurge of violence in and around Jerusalem has led to the killing of civilians on both sides. I have deplored this and urged responsible leaders to work to calm the situation.
In the longer term, I have expressed before my concern at the growing use of force by Israeli forces in policing non-life threatening situations in the occupied territory, which has led to a steady toll of fatalities. While acknowledging serious ...

55. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he is aware of the increase in the number of Palestinian children arrested by Israeli security forces in the past year; the number of these children who were arrested without their parents being informed (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19412/16 asked on 05 Jul 2016 - Middle East Issues)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The treatment of Palestinian children in the Occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem is of deep concern, and an issue on which Ireland has been active for some time.
The significant rise in the number of children arrested, which has been highlighted in reports by UNICEF and others, is largely connected to the wave of violent incidents over the last ten months in which, tragically, many children and young people have been involved.
A...

334. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views on whether it is appropriate that the State should trade with Israel, particularly in the area of armaments, in view of the ongoing denial of basic human rights to the Palestinian population, the continued expansion of illegal settlements into Palestinian terriroty and the current freedom and dignity hunger strike of 1,500 Palestinian prisoners; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 25649/17 asked on 30 May 2017 - Arms Trade)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Purchase of equipment for the Permanent Defence Forces is a matter for the Minister for Defence. I am not aware of any sales of armaments by Ireland to Israel. 
In relation to general trade with Israel, I refer the Deputy to my reply to Question No. 94 today on this topic.
 ...

528. Deputy Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Defence the amount the Defence Forces have spent on purchasing arms and equipment from Israeli companies in the past 15 years; if he wil provide a breakdown of the figures according to year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 33030/14 asked on 17 Sep 2014 - Arms Trade)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): The primary purpose for the procurement of defensive equipment by the Department of Defence is to enhance 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. 
A number of Israeli companies have won orders for defensive equipment over the last decade as a result of tender competitions. Since 2005, the Department has purchased small ...

66. Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his attention has been drawn to a recent case in which it is reported that Israeli soldiers illegally detained a five year old child in Hebron; that the age of criminal responsibility for Israelis and Palestinians is 12 years old and it is forbidden by law to detain or arrest a child under the age of 12; and if he will raise the case with the Israeli authorities and ask for an explanation for what appears to be the routine procedure of detaining Palestinian children illegally. (Question 36930/13 asked on 18 Sep 2013 - Foreign Conflicts)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): I am aware of the case to which the Deputy refers. According to reports received, an incident occurred on the afternoon of 9 July 2013 when seven Israeli Defence Force soldiers and an officer were involved in detaining a five-year-old Palestinian child. The child was detained in Hebron after he reportedly threw a stone at a car belonging to a settler. I understand that he was taken home and then transferred with his f...

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...

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...

383. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of former members of the Defence Forces that have joined foreign military services on completion of service here either after resigning their commission or before completing their contract; the military services involved; if there are restrictions on former members of the Defence Forces joining other military services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18566/17 asked on 12 Apr 2017 - Defence Forces Personnel Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I am informed by the military authorities that they do not collate information on ex-Defence Forces personnel. However, there are no restrictions on former members of the Defence Forces joining other military services. It should be noted that terms of enlistment for enlisted personnel, post 1994, are for five years in the Permanent Defence Force and 7 years in the Reserve Defence Force. Section 241 of the Defence Act prohibit...

328. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he is aware of the increase in the number of Palestinian children arrested by Israeli security forces in the past year; the number of these children that were arrested without their parents being informed; and his views on the use of unnecessary force in arresting and detaining these children in some cases beating them and holding them in unsafe and abusive conditions. (Question 19426/16 asked on 05 Jul 2016 - Middle East Issues)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I refer the Deputy to my reply to his Question no 55 (19412/16) today, which was as follows:
“The treatment of Palestinian children in the Occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem is of deep concern, and an issue on which Ireland has been active for some time.
The significant rise in the number of children arrested, which has been highlighted in reports by UNICEF and others, is largely connected to the wave of violent incidents over ...

16. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his views on whether the current UNDOF mission, in the context of the deployment of Irish troops to the Golan Heights, has now moved away from the original task of the 1974 mandate. (Question 15482/17 asked on 29 Mar 2017 - Overseas Missions)

Deputy Clare Daly: I have raised this issue previously with the Minister. It concerns the imminent deployment of a further contingent of Irish troops to the Golan Heights. As the Minister is aware, Israel, in violation of international law, has established an Israeli administration using Israeli as the official administrative language. It has enforced the implementation of Israeli curricula in schools and has enacted a slew of other measures aimed at permanently annexing that region. It is r...

7. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the detail of the imminent deployment of a further contingent of Irish troops to the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force, UNDOF, mission in the Golan Heights in view of the recent statement by the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, that he has asked the US President to recognise Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights and the concern that the UNDOF mission is effectively facilitating the illegal occupation of the Golan Heights by Israel; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15264/17 asked on 29 Mar 2017 - Overseas Missions)

Deputy Clare Daly: I have raised this issue previously with the Minister. It concerns the imminent deployment of a further contingent of Irish troops to the Golan Heights. As the Minister is aware, Israel, in violation of international law, has established an Israeli administration using Israeli as the official administrative language. It has enforced the implementation of Israeli curricula in schools and has enacted a slew of other measures aimed at permanently annexing that region. It is r...

16. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Defence if he will provide an updated list of countries from outside the EU from which his Department and the Defence Forces purchase equipment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6899/15 asked on 18 Feb 2015 - Public Procurement Contracts)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): The priority for the procurement of defensive equipment by the Department of Defence is to maintain the capability of the Irish Defence Forces at home and 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 t...

684. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his views on whether the continued presence of the Defence Forces in the Golan Heights as part of the UNDOF mission, could make Ireland complicit in a breach of international law by effectively facilitating the illegal occupation by Israel of Syrian land; his further views on whether the expertise and skills of the Defence Forces could be better used in DRC, Darfur or South Sudan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40064/16 asked on 13 Dec 2016 - Overseas Missions)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) was established on 31 May 1974 by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 350 (1974), following the agreed disengagement of the Israeli and Syrian forces in the Golan Heights in May 1974. 
UNDOF was established to: 
Maintain the ceasefire between Israel and Syria; 
Supervise the disengagement of Israeli and Syrian forces; and 
Supervise the areas of separation ...

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...

80. Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Defence if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a Spanish soldier on UN peacekeeping duty was killed during Israeli shelling of southern Lebanon; if Irish soldiers on UN peacekeeping duty in the region have been affected by the recent attacks in southern Lebanon and the Golan Heights; and if new security measures are being put in place to ensure their safety. (Question 5127/15 asked on 04 Feb 2015 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): I am aware of the events of 28th January 2015, where a member of the Spanish Armed Forces who was serving in Sector East with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) was killed near Ghajar on the border with Israel. I understand that the precise cause of the peacekeeper’s death remains undetermined. UNIFIL has launched an investigation to determine the facts and circumstances of the incident. Irish personnel deployed with UNIFIL serve i...

75. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if his attention has been drawn to the six monthly progress report on the use of Lariam for military personnel issued by the House of Commons Defence Committee (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52734/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Defence Forces Medicinal Products)

Taoiseach and Minister for Defence (Deputy Leo Varadkar): I am aware of the Ministry of Defence’s six-monthly progress report on the use of Lariam for military personnel, published by the House of Commons Defence Committee. The choice of malaria chemoprophylaxis in use by other armed forces is an internal matter for those forces. It would not be appropriate for me to comment on the policy and practices of other States in this regard . 
 ...

140. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on whether it is appropriate that the Minister of State with responsibility for training, skills and innovation, who has said that Israel’s treatment of Palestinians is appalling and unacceptable and would not be tolerated by any other state in the world, would visit Israel and meet a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35613/16 asked on 17 Nov 2016 - Ministerial Travel)

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy John Halligan) (Deputy John Halligan): The Minister of State for Training, Skills and Innovation’s visit to Palestine and Israel originated in an invitation from the Palestinian Minister for Education. The objective on this visit was to both demonstrate what Ireland is doing in the fields of education and training, and to observe and learn from what is being done in other countries, and to discuss problems arising and how they ...

97. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he accepts the destabilising effect of the use of armed drones; and if Ireland will take an international position on campaigning to end the use of armed drones. (Question 48970/13 asked on 19 Nov 2013 - International Terrorism)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Ireland has consistently taken the view that combating terrorism must be conducted in full respect of international law, in particular the law of armed conflict and human rights law. In line with the UN Global Strategy on Counter Terrorism, effective counter terrorism and the protection and promotion of human rights are mutually reinforcing and not competing goals. This means that human rights law must apply, including...

20. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Defence if he will report on the Defence Forces’ mission in Syria; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54776/12 asked on 12 Dec 2012 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): Six (6) members of the Permanent Defence Force are deployed in Syria as part of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO). The Defence Forces have participated in UNTSO since 1958. Defence Forces personnel serving with this mission are based in Syria, Israel and Lebanon. The main functions of UNTSO are to maintain regional dialogue, monitor ceasefires, supervise armistice agreements and to assist UN peacekeeping operations in Lebanon a...

359. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Defence if he will report on the participation of members of the Defence Forces in the UN Mission to Syria; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 55681/12 asked on 11 Dec 2012 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): Six members of the Permanent Defence Force are deployed in Syria as part of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO). The Defence Forces have participated in UNTSO since 1958. Defence Forces personnel serving with this mission are based in Syria, Israel and Lebanon. The main functions of UNTSO are to maintain regional dialogue, monitor ceasefires, supervise armistice agreements and to assist UN peacekeeping operations in Lebanon and...

3. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Defence if he will ensure that the Defence Forces cease security contracts with Israeli companies. (Question 34814/14 asked on 18 Sep 2014 - Defence Forces Contracts)

Deputy Clare Daly: I too congratulate the Minister on his extra brief. I do not know what the farmers were giving out about. I think he is one of a handful of people who could admirably handle the two posts and I wish him well.
The question relates to when the Minister will order the Defence Forces no longer to engage in contracts with companies which have been involved in, or profited from, illegal Israeli settlements and companies which have been involved in the violation of international la...