Written Answers. - PDF Personnel Average Age.

Pat Rabbitte

Question:

19 Mr. Rabbitte asked the Minister for Defence the current average age of a private, corporal and sergeant in the Defence Forces; the equivalent average ages ten years ago; his views on whether the current age profile of such ranks is satisfactory; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Michael Bell

Question:

29 Mr. Bell asked the Minister for Defence if the age level in the PDF is now at the highest average level in the history of the State because of the lack of recruitment; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

I propose to take Questions Nos. 19 and 29 together.

The current average age of personnel in the ranks in question is as follows: sergeant, 40 years; corporal, 34 years; private, 31 years.

The average age for these ranks in 1983 was as follows: sergeant, 33 years; corporal, 28 years; private, 26 years.

The increase in the average ages of personnel of the Permanent Defence Force serving in the ranks mentioned by the Deputy is a reflection of the fact that there has been a significant decline in the past few years in the numbers seeking discharge from the force. This has limited the scope for new recruitment which would otherwise have taken place.