The Department of Justice and Equality and An Garda Síochána have primary responsibility for the internal security of the State. Among the roles assigned to the Defence Forces in the White Paper on Defence is the provision of aid to the civil power, ATCP, which in practice means to assist An Garda Síochána when requested to do so.
The Garda requested ATCP assistance from the Defence Forces in support of the recent visit of the US President and the number of Defence Forces personnel deployed in response to this request was 497. With regard to the length of service performed by each of these personnel, I have been informed by the military authorities that the average length of service provided by each member involved is specific to their respective role and that this information cannot be released for security purposes.
Unlike other areas of the public service and due to the nature of the duties performed, overtime is not available to members of the Defence Forces. In addition to basic pay, the Defence Forces have a wide range of allowances, which are unique to their duties. A military service allowance, MSA, is paid to all ranks up to the level of colonel. The military service allowance is designed to compensate for the special conditions associated with military life. Those include unsocial hours of duty, exposure to danger, and the restrictions inherent in military discipline. For privates, corporals and sergeants with more than three years in service, the MSA is worth €115.43 per week, per person. The rate is €122.87 per week for senior NCOs .
In line with any other occasion when the Defence Forces are requested to operate in an aid to the civil power capacity, Defence Force members on duty in support of An Garda Síochána during the visit of the US President will receive the security duty allowance, SDA. The current rate of SDA is €23.81 for each day on duty for less than 24 hours. The rate is increased to €47.59 for a 24-hour duty. The security duty allowance is paid to all enlisted personnel and to officers up to and including the rank of commandant who are not in receipt of an Army ranger wing allowance or a patrol duty allowance. The assistance provided by the Defence Forces for the duration of the recent visit of the US President is greatly appreciated and acknowledged by my colleagues and I in government.