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Thursday, 20 Sep 2012

Written Answers Nos. 20-31

Question No. 20 answered with Question No. 12.

Defence Forces Veterans

Question No. 22 answered with Question No. 9.

Question No. 23 answered with Question No. 12.

Questions (21)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

21. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Defence if supports exist for former members of the Defence Forces, who may be suffering from various conditions related to the performance of their duties, particularly those who may have served in war zones overseas over the decades and who may now be suffering psychologically; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39489/12]

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Written answers (Question to Defence)

The Department of Defence does not provide ongoing support services directly to former members of the Defence Forces. However, the Department does provide an annual subvention to support and encourage the two officially recognised veteran groups, O.N.E. and IUNVA. O.N.E. is dedicated to looking after the welfare of all ex-service personnel of the Irish Defence Forces. A main objective of O.N.E. is to ensure the welfare of ex-servicemen and women by way of providing accommodation to homeless members in need of such domestic accommodation and providing other assistance that may be required by way of advising referrals to the relevant agencies.

In addition, the Army Pensions Acts provide for the consideration of a claim in respect of a disablement due to

(a) a wound or injury attributable to service in the Permanent Defence Force, provided that the application is made within one (1) year from the date of discharge from the Permanent Defence Force; or

(b) disease attributable to, aggravated by, accelerated or excited by overseas service with a United Nations Force provided that the application is made within eight (8) years from the date of discharge from the Permanent Defence Force.

In order to be considered under either category a claim should be submitted to the Department before the expiry of the relevant deadline.

Question No. 22 answered with Question No. 9.
Question No. 23 answered with Question No. 12.

Air Ambulance Service Provision

Questions (24, 27)

Derek Keating

Question:

24. Deputy Derek Keating asked the Minister for Defence the functions and area that are covered by the new Air Ambulance Service that is operating from Roger Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel, Dublin; his plans to extend this service; if this service is also available for emergency situations that may arise in Dublin city centre and particularly in Dublin west; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39487/12]

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Regina Doherty

Question:

27. Deputy Regina Doherty asked the Minister for Defence the functions and areas that are covered by the new Air Ambulance Service that is operating from Roger Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel, Dublin; his plans to extend this service; if this service is also available for emergency situations that may arise in Dublin city centre and particularly in Dublin west; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39488/12]

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Written answers (Question to Defence)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 24 and 27 together.

A twelve-month pilot Emergency Aeromedical Support (EAS) service was established by agreement between the Department and the Department of Health in support of the Health Service Executive National Ambulance Service. The purpose of the pilot is to assess the level and type, if any, of dedicated emergency aeromedical support needed to assist the National Ambulance Service in the west of Ireland for certain types of patient, particularly in light of the requirements of the HSE Clinical Care Programmes such as Acute Coronary Syndrome and Stroke. The service commenced on 4 June 2012 and it is operated by the Air Corps out of Custume Barracks, Athlone. A full evaluation of the EAS service will be undertaken by the stakeholders three months prior to the end of the pilot. There are no plans at present to extend this service.

Defence Forces Reorganisation

Question No. 26 answered with Question No. 8.

Question No. 27 answered with Question No. 24.

Questions (25)

Pádraig MacLochlainn

Question:

25. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn asked the Minister for Defence his plans to commission civilians in the Defence Forces to take up positions of military judges. [39494/12]

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Written answers (Question to Defence)

The provisions of the Defence (Amendment) Act 2011 expanded the potential candidature for the post of military judge to persons other than members of the Defence Forces. Under the provisions of the 2011 Act the post of military judge was advertised in March of this year. Following an open competition run by the Public Appointments Service, Mr Michael Campion was recommended for appointment as the military judge. Mr Campion was commissioned as an officer of the Permanent Defence Force on 4 September 2012 in the rank of Colonel for the purpose of taking up the appointment. He was subsequently appointed by the President as a military judge with effect from 6 September 2012 and was sworn in by the Judge Advocate-General at a ceremony in the Military Justice Centre, McKee Barracks on 12 September 2012.

The function of the military judge is to preside at courts martial and such other judicial functions as may be prescribed. To be qualified for appointment as a military judge an individual must be a practising barrister or a practising solicitor of not less than 10 years standing. It is not anticipated that it will be necessary to hold any further competition for the post of military judge in the short-term.

Question No. 26 answered with Question No. 8.
Question No. 27 answered with Question No. 24.

Departmental Staff Remuneration

Questions (28)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

28. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Defence the number of persons within the Defence Forces and the number within his Department who are paid salaries of more than €100,000; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39500/12]

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Written answers (Question to Defence)

The Department of Defence includes civil servants, military personnel and civilian employees and employs 9,799 staff. Of these, 19 individuals are in receipt of annual salaries in excess of €100,000 per annum; 4 Civil Servants, 1 Civilian Employee and 14 members of the Defence Forces.

Salary Band

Civil Servants

Civilian Employees

Defence Forces

Greater than €100,000

4

1*

14

*Ombudsman for the Defence Forces

Defence Forces Reorganisation

Question No. 30 answered with Question No. 6.

Question No. 31 answered with Question No. 16.

Questions (29)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

29. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Defence his plans to address concerns regarding the lack of a headquarters for the Reserve Defence Forces in the Formation North and Formation South; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39498/12]

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Written answers (Question to Defence)

Arising from the Comprehensive Review of Expenditure in 2011, I secured the agreement of the Government to maintain the strength of the Permanent Defence Force (PDF) at a level of 9,500 serving personnel. While this represents a very significant commitment on the part of Government, at this strength level it was not possible to maintain the then organisational structure of the Permanent Defence Force, which had been designed to support a serving strength of 11,500. As a result, I tasked the Secretary General of the Department of Defence and the Chief of Staff to conduct a detailed review of the organisation and structure of the Defence Forces and to bring forward proposals on an appropriate organisation for a Permanent Defence Force of 9,500 serving personnel which could continue to deliver the services required by Government.

In July 2012, I announced details of the re-organisation of the PDF. In order to prioritise PDF operational outputs, the re-organisation includes a proposal to reduce the number of PDF personnel working full time with the Army Reserve, to a total of 24 in each Brigade and a broad range of other supports will also be provided from PDF Units. A Value for Money Review of the Reserve is ongoing and its completion is anticipated by the end of this month. Any recommendations, regarding organisational structures for the Reserve, arising from the Review must have due regard to the available PDF cadre and dovetail with revised PDF organisational structures.

Question No. 30 answered with Question No. 6.
Question No. 31 answered with Question No. 16.
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