Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Army Strength.

58.

asked the Minister for Defence (a) the present strength of the Irish Army, (b) the number of officers and (c) the number of privates, and if he is satisfied with the strength of the Army and the recruitment drive.

The strength of the Permanent Defence Force, including the Naval Service, on the 31st January, 1969, was 8242 made up of 1099 officers, 67 cadets, 3084 non-commissioned officers and 3992 privates.

The present strength falls short of what I would like it to be and recruiting is continuing. The question of arranging further advertising is being considered.

Would the Minister agree that we have approximately 5,000 fewer than he would like to see in the Irish Army and that between 10,000 and 13,000 Irishmen from the 26 Counties voluntarily join the British Army each year? Why do they join the British Army and will not join their own Army? Is there something wrong in the recruitment drive, or where?

I can speak only for the Irish Army.

How many joined the British Army when Deputy Dillon asked them during the Emergency?