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Defence Forces Personnel.

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 28 June 2005

Tuesday, 28 June 2005

Questions (773)

John Perry

Question:

775 Mr. Perry asked the Minister for Defence the length of time the Army’s attention had been drawn to the fact that a person was facing a charge of child rape before they were discharged; and the reason this person was given honourable discharge from the Army. [22675/05]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Defence)

In the absence of more specific particulars, it is not possible for the military authorities to research their personnel records so as to positively identify the particular person referred to in the Deputy's question. However, in the light of the extreme gravity of the subject matter of the Deputy's question, I will have the matter examined as a matter of urgency on receipt of specific particulars. I will then communicate further with the Deputy in writing.

An enlisted individual may be discharged, under the terms of Defence Force Regulation A10 Part III paragraph 58 (m), as a result of conviction by the civil power. The discharge would take place only after conviction. It would be possible for an individual to apply for his own discharge from the Permanent Defence Force under normal administrative procedures prior to the actual occasion of any such conviction. In such circumstances, the application for discharge would be dealt with and processed in the normal way.

A conduct rating under Defence Force regulations would take account of an individual's record in the Defence Forces up to the date of discharge. However, it is important to note that even if the military authorities are aware of an outstanding civil criminal charge at the time of discharge, such pending civil proceedings could have no effect on the individual's military conduct rating, bearing in mind the fundamental legal principle of the presumption of innocence.

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