Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Army Strength.

77.

asked the Minister for Defence if he is satisfied with the present strength of the Army; and, if not, if he has any plans for further recruitment.

Normal recruiting for the permanent Defence Force is continuing and there has been a gradual increase in strength over recent months. An intensive recruiting campaign is not considered necessary at present.

Is it not a fact that the strength of the Army is at an all time low? Having regard to the fact that the strength of the Garda Síochána is also at an all time low is this not a serious situation for the country as a whole?

The strength of the Army has increased by 200 or so in the last couple of months. I do not think it would be correct to say it is at an all time low.

What is the strength of the permanent Defence Forces at the moment?

On 30th April last it was 8,728.

That does represent an increase.

Question No. 78 postponed.