I recently approved a proposal from the military authorities that the military band at the Curragh should be amalgamated with the band of the Eastern Brigade, the Army No. 1 Band. The amalgamation of these two bands does not involve any reduction in the overall numbers of musicians within the school of music as already provided for within the Defence Forces review implementation plan approved by the previous Government. Under the previous organisation of the Defence Forces, each Army Command – of which there were four, namely the Eastern, Curragh, Southern and Western Commands – had a military band. In the new organisational structure, which came into effect on 1 November last, these four commands were replaced by three brigades. Each of these three brigades, eastern, southern and western, has a band as part of its organisation, with the band of the former Curragh command being now amalgamated with the band of the Eastern Brigade.