577. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if he will report on the cancellation of the Defence Forces deceased members remembrance ceremony due to take place on 6 November 2016; the reason for this cancellation; if this will be a standing annual event; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35955/16 asked on 22 Nov 2016)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe) (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The National Day of Commemoration is held annually by the State in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham. Annual commemorations are also held by the Defence Forces at the National Memorial in Merrion Square during the summer months. In addition, commemorations are held in military barracks during November.

A commemoration to honour deceased members of the Defence Forces was conducted in November 2015 at the National Memorial in Merrion Square on a pilot basis. Having considered the pilot, I am satisfied that deceased members of the Defence Forces are already appropriately remembered at dignified commemorations throughout the year and there is no requirement for a further public commemoration. It is therefore not my intention that this ceremony would become an annual event.

Arrangements are currently being made to award the 1916 Centenary Commemorative Medal to all members of the Defence Forces who have served during this centenary year of 2016. It is a fitting tribute and thank you from the Government, on behalf of the people of Ireland, to our Defence Forces and it is my intention to recognise also the service of Members of the Defence Forces who passed away during 2016.