I propose to take Questions Nos. 84, 121 and 122 together.
The first phase of the implementation plan for the reorganisation of the Defence Forces provides for a total strength of 11,500 Permanent Defence Force personnel by 31 December 1998. The strength of the Permanent Defence Force on 31 March 1998, the latest date for which figures have been compiled, was 11,434. Recruitment to the Defence Forces is taking place. Since the beginning of May approximately 265 recruits have been enlisted. A further 235 will be enlisted over the coming months so as to ensure the strength figure of 11,500 is maintained.
The age profile of personnel of the Permanent Defence Force is being compiled and I will forward this information to the Deputies as soon as it is available.
The number of female personnel in the Defence Forces on 31 March 1998, the latest date for which figures are available, is shown in the form of a tabular statement which I propose to circulate in the Official Report.
Female Personnel in the Defence Forces on 31 March 1998.