Thursday, 13 June 2019

Questions (27)

Clare Daly


27. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his plans to address the fact that the Defence Forces lost over a third of their strength between 2014 and 2018 with the result that basic functions cannot be fulfilled in view of the fact that simple recruitment of new members is not enough to fill the gaps left by the departure of experienced members. [24344/19]

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Written answers (Question to Defence)

The average yearly departure rate of personnel in the Permanent Defence Force between 2014 and 2018 was 7.01%. The average yearly departure rate since 2002 is 6.3% with a peak rate of 8.58% in 2012. The departure rate in 2018 was 8.1%.

A significant proportion of those that depart are trainees who depart before completing their initial training. The military authorities have advised, for example, that of the 731 personnel who exited the Defence Force during 2018, 139 (or 19%) were trainees while in 2017 trainees accounted for 28% of departures.

The long-term average of trained personnel who depart each year is 500. While 592 trained personnel departed during 2018 and 533 trained personnel departed in 2017, the number of trained personnel departing can fluctuate significantly year-on-year. In recent years this has ranged from a high of 677 in 2012 to a low of 356 in 2014.

The overarching turnover level does not illustrate important underlying trends. As the rate of turnover within a military organisation can differ across functional areas, the impact of turnover can vary accordingly which leads to particular challenges in certain specialist areas. I am continuing to work closely with the Secretary General and Chief of Staff in furthering management responses to such challenges.

Questions Nos. 28 and 29 answered with Question No. 8.
Question No. 30 answered with Question No. 23.