Departmental Contracts Data

Questions (98)

Martin Heydon

Question:

98. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Taoiseach the contracts in which his Department and agencies under his remit are engaged for the provision of security services; the name of each contractor; the procurement process involved; and the duration of each contract. [30249/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Taoiseach)

My Department does not procure any security services. The National Economic & Social Development Office (NESDO), which is the only body under the aegis of my Department, does not procure any security services.

Departmental Shareholdings

Questions (99)

Catherine Connolly

Question:

99. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if he will provide details of all entities in which he or his Department holds shares; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30181/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Defence)

There are no shares held in any entity in the name of the Minister for Defence or the Department of Defence.

Departmental Contracts Data

Questions (100)

Martin Heydon

Question:

100. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the contracts in which his Department and agencies under his remit are engaged for the provision of security services; the name of each contractor; the procurement process involved; the duration of each contract; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30239/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Defence)

I am advised that when a military installation is closed and is surplus to requirements all military responsibility for the installation ceases and my Department takes responsibility for maintenance and security.

In the case of former Columb Barracks, Mullingar, which closed in 2012, it was necessary for my Department to arrange to put security arrangements in place in order to prevent the premises being vandalised and becoming the focus of anti-social behaviour and to address any possible health and safety issues. Accordingly, my Department entered into a negotiated contract with Mullingar Lakeland Security Ltd to provide these services. These arrangements continue to apply and it is intended will remain in place until the Land Development Agency (LDA), which has confirmed its interest in the property, formally take ownership of the site.

Defence Forces Strength

Questions (101, 103)

Jack Chambers

Question:

101. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the strength of the Permanent Defence Force by rank and gender across the three services in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30375/19]

View answer

Jack Chambers

Question:

103. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of additional recruits to the Permanent Defence Force to date in 2019 with regard to the three services; the gender breakdown of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30377/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Defence)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 101 and 103 together.

The most recent figures, as of 31 May 2019, give the whole-time equivalent strength of the Permanent Defence Force (PDF) as 8,751 personnel. The requested breakdown is provided in the attached tables.

The military authorities have advised that, as of 30 June 2019, 185 personnel have been inducted, as detailed in the following table.

Total Inductions

General Service Recruits Male

General Service Recruits Female

General Service Recruits Total

Direct Entry Male

Direct Entry Female

Direct Entry Total

Army

139

130

7

137

2

0

2

Naval

46

44

1

45

1

0

1

Total

185

174

8

182

3

0

3

Recruitment and inductions will continue throughout 2019 to ensure the Defence Forces retain the capacity to operate effectively across all roles.

WTE (WHOLE TIME EQUIVALENT) STRENGTH OF THE PERMANENT DEFENCE FORCE 31 MAY 19

LT

MAJ

BRIG

COL

LT

COMDT

CAPT

LT

TOTAL

SM

BQMS

CS

CQMS

SGTS

CPLS

TOTAL

PTES

CADETS

TOTAL

GEN

GEN

GEN

COL

OFFRS

NCOS

ARMY

1

2

5

32

104

251

275

213

883

29

32

112

168

854

1263

2458

3660

78

7079

AIR CORPS

1

1

11

35

45

28

121

7

3

46

15

101

142

314

243

28

706

NAVAL SERVICE

0

0

1

2

14

54

33

50

154

6

6

70

12

172

143

409

385

18

966

TOTAL

1

2

7

35

129

340

353

291

1158

42

41

228

195

1127

1548

3181

4288

124

8,751

WTE STRENGTH OF FEMALES IN THE PERMANENT DEFENCE FORCE 31 MAY 19

LT

MAJ

BRIG

COL

LT

COMDT

CAPT

LT

TOTAL

SM

BQMS

CS

CQMS

SGTS

CPLS

TOTAL

PTES

CADETS

TOTAL

GEN

GEN

GEN

COL

OFFRS

NCOS

ARMY

0

0

0

1

2

38

47

33

121

0

0

2

9

51

101

163

199

9

492

AIR CORPS

0

0

0

0

0

2

8

1

11

0

0

1

2

5

8

16

5

1

33

NAVAL SERVICE

0

0

0

0

0

9

10

3

22

0

0

0

0

7

8

15

25

2

64

TOTAL

0

0

0

1

2

49

65

37

154

0

0

3

11

63

117

194

229

12

589

WTE STRENGTH OF MALES IN THE PERMANENT DEFENCE FORCE 31 MAY 19

LT

MAJ

BRIG

COL

LT

COMDT

CAPT

LT

TOTAL

SM

BQMS

CS

CQMS

SGTS

CPLS

TOTAL

PTES

CADETS

TOTAL

GEN

GEN

GEN

COL

OFFRS

NCOS

ARMY

1

2

5

31

102

213

228

180

762

29

32

110

159

803

1162

2295

3461

69

6587

AIR CORPS

0

0

1

1

11

33

37

27

110

7

3

45

13

96

134

298

238

27

673

NAVAL SERVICE

0

0

1

2

14

45

23

47

132

6

6

70

12

165

135

394

360

16

902

TOTAL

1

2

7

34

127

291

288

254

1004

42

41

225

184

1064

1431

2987

4059

112

8162

Defence Forces Reserve Strength

Question No. 103 answered with Question No. 101.

Question No. 104 answered with Question No. 102.

Questions (102, 104)

Jack Chambers

Question:

102. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the strength of the Defence Forces Reserve with regard to the three services by rank; the gender breakdown of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30376/19]

View answer

Jack Chambers

Question:

104. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of additional recruits to the Defence Forces Reserve to date in 2019 with regard to all services; the gender breakdown of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30378/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Defence)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 102 and 104 together.

The Reserve Defence Force (RDF) is comprised of the First Line Reserve (FLR), the Army Reserve (AR) and the Naval Service Reserve (NSR). The Government appreciates the service of the Reserve Defence Force and recognises its importance in contributing to Ireland's defence capability. The White Paper on Defence is clear that there is a continued requirement to retain and develop the RDF and it is currently on a development path arising from the recommendations of the White Paper.

As of 31st May 2019, the substantive strength of the First Line Reserve is 290 personnel, as detailed by rank in the following table (a gender breakdown is not available):

SUBSTANTIVE STRENGTH OF THE FIRST LINE RESERVE

FORMATION

OFFR

NCO

PTE

TOTAL

ARMY

16

12

129

157

AIR CORPS

2

4

19

25

NAVAL SERVICE

17

11

80

108

TOTALS

35

27

228

290

As of 31st May 2019, the effective strength of the AR is 1577 personnel and the effective strength of the NSR is 124 personnel. This is detailed by rank in the following table:

EFFECTIVE STRENGTH OF THE ARMY RESERVE & NAVAL SERVICE RESERVE BY RANK

LT COL

COMDT

CAPT

LT

TOTAL

OFFR

SM

BQMS

CS

CQMS

SGT

CPL

TOTAL NCO

PTE

TOTAL Effective

AR

4

39

77

128

248

1

4

36

43

224

292

600

729

1577

NSR

0

4

9

5

18

0

3

3

0

10

26

42

64

124

TOTALS

4

43

86

133

266

1

7

39

43

234

318

642

793

1701

The effective female breakdown of the RDF for the same period is as follows:

EFFECTIVE FEMALE STRENGTH OF THE ARMY RESERVE & NAVAL SERVICE RESERVE BY RANK

FEMALE

LT COL

COMDT

CAPT

LT

TOTAL OFFR

SM

BQMS

CS

CQMS

SGT

CPL

TOTAL NCO

PTE

TOTAL Effective

AR

0

2

8

21

31

0

0

0

2

15

57

74

98

203

NSR

0

0

0

2

2

0

0

0

0

0

4

4

14

20

TOTALS

0

2

8

23

33

0

0

0

2

15

61

78

112

223

A key ongoing challenge for the AR and NSR is to recruit and retain personnel. I am very much aware that there continues to be a shortfall between the current strength figures and those of the establishment which provides for 4,069 personnel. Recruitment to the AR and NSR is continuing. I am advised by the military authorities that as of 30 June 2019, a total of 66 new recruits have been inducted into the RDF in 2019. Of these, 57 (3 female) have been inducted into the AR and 9 (2 female) have been inducted into the NSR. A total of 129 new recruits were inducted to the AR and NSR in 2018.

Supports being provided to maximise recruitment to the Reserve include the use of social media and outreach activities by RDF members. Permanent Defence Force (PDF) recruit exit interviews now contain information on applying for membership of the RDF.

I would like to assure the Deputy that I remain committed to the ongoing development of the RDF within the framework set out in the White Paper for Defence.

Question No. 103 answered with Question No. 101.
Question No. 104 answered with Question No. 102.

Army Bomb Disposals Data

Questions (105)

Jack Chambers

Question:

105. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of suspect devices the Army bomb disposal unit has dealt with by county to date in 2019, in tabular form. [30379/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Defence)

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 which, in practice, means to assist An Garda Síochána when requested to do so. The Defence Forces Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams respond when a request for assistance is made by An Garda Síochána in dealing with a suspect device. The number of EOD callouts, which include viable devices, hoaxes, false alarms, post-blast analysis and the removal of unstable chemicals in laboratories, dealt with to date, by county, are set out in the following table.

COUNTY

Number of Callout to Suspect Devices

CAVAN

1

CLARE

3

CORK

5

DUBLIN

14

GALWAY

2

KERRY

1

KILDARE

2

KILKENNY

1

LAOIS

2

LIMERICK

2

LOUTH

5

MAYO

3

MEATH

1

OFFALY

1

ROSCOMMON

1

WATERFORD

1

WESTMEATH

2

WICKLOW

4

TOTAL

51

Naval Service Operations

Questions (106)

Jack Chambers

Question:

106. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of days spent at sea by members of the Naval Service Reserve to date in 2019. [30380/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Defence)

I am informed by the military authorities that members of the Naval Service Reserve have spent a total of 55 days at sea to date in 2019.

Brexit Preparations

Questions (107)

Micheál Martin

Question:

107. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his EU counterparts have discussed the action they will take if the new Prime Minister of the UK does not apply for an extension to the UK leaving the European Union on 31 October 2019; and the plans for such a scenario. [30017/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

Any extension of the Article 50 process beyond 31 October would have to be based on a UK request, which remains a matter for the UK. Should the UK not ratify the Withdrawal Agreement, and in the absence of an agreed extension of Article 50, then the UK will leave with EU with no deal on 31 October.

In such circumstances, the EU would apply the contingency measures the European Commission and Member States have been preparing over the past two, and more, years and have been adopted in recent months.

At the EU level, this work has been set out in five European Commission Communications, the latest of which was published on 12 June, as well more than 90 Brexit preparedness notices and 8 question and answer documents. In the lead up to the 29 March deadline, the European Union adopted 18 primary legislative measures on a unilateral temporary basis to mitigate the worst effects of a no-deal Brexit, in a range of areas, from transport, fisheries, social security and PEACE/INTERREG funding, to education (Erasmus), mobility and trade.

At a national level, we continue to advance our extensive and detailed Brexit contingency work, including with our EU partners, to make sure Ireland is ready to the greatest extent possible.

This work is set out in detail in the updated Contingency Action Plan published yesterday. The Brexit Contingency Action Plan Update reflects the extensive work which has taken place on a whole-of-Government basis to prepare for a no-deal Brexit, and the work that will take place between now and 31 October. The Action Plan shows that while extensive mitigation work has taken place, the impacts of a no-deal Brexit will still be profound. This is an exercise in damage limitation.

Key areas for continued work will include preparing for Budget 2020, additional infrastructure for ports and airports, a new phase of the Government’s Brexit communications including an intensified engagement focussed on individual businesses.

Election Monitoring Missions

Questions (108, 109, 110, 111, 112)

Joan Collins

Question:

108. Deputy Joan Collins asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the number of staff by grade and location involved full-time in the operation of the election observation roster; his plans to increase the number of staff and to have all staff located in the same location; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30125/19]

View answer

Joan Collins

Question:

109. Deputy Joan Collins asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if a review of the election observation roster is being undertaken; if so, if this review will include consideration of the provision of reasonable accommodation to observers with disabilities during the application process and subsequent phases; if persons committed and interested in election observations matters will be invited to participate in the review of the roster; when the review will be completed; if steps to form a new roster will be put into place shortly after the review; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30126/19]

View answer

Joan Collins

Question:

110. Deputy Joan Collins asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the annual Irish Aid budget and the budget for the election observation roster in each of the past six years in tabular form; the reason the election observation budget has not been increased in line with the overall Irish Aid budget; his plans to increase the budget to allow an increase to the size of the roster and ensure that more observers are placed on election observation missions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30127/19]

View answer

Joan Collins

Question:

111. Deputy Joan Collins asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the names of the members appointed to the 2018 election observation roster; the number of members who passed and failed security clearance, respectively; if those who failed have been allowed to undertake missions abroad; if his attention has been drawn to concerns that a number of the old 2013 roster members who did not go on elections missions in the previous six years of the old roster have now been reappointed to the new roster; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30128/19]

View answer

Joan Collins

Question:

112. Deputy Joan Collins asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he conducted research in 2018 into the way in which other countries selected and recruited election observers, in particular the deployment of former politicians; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that half do not have former politicians on their selection panels and that those that do treat them like all other observers; the rationale for the policy to reserve 5% of the roster places for former politicians; the reason this policy was not detailed in the call to proposals that issued in 2018; if the place on the roster becomes vacant in the event that a former politician on the roster is re-elected to public office; the way in which vacancies on the roster are filled; if vacancies on the roster have been filled to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30129/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 108 to 112, inclusive, together.

The elections desk is based within the Development Cooperation and Africa Division of my Department. Staffing of the elections desk is proportionate to its budget and that of the Division as a whole, whose purpose is to deliver on the objectives set out in A Better World, the Government's policy for international development published in February 2019. A review of the management of the election roster will be conducted by the Department's independent Evaluation and Audit Unit later this year.

The budget of the Irish Aid programme (known as Vote 27: International Cooperation) of my Department from 2013 to 2019 is set out in the following table. The table also includes the election observation budget. A new five-year roster was established in January 2019 and will run its course. The increase in the budget for election observation in 2018 was in part to offset the costs of the mustering exercise which allowed the establishment of that new five-year roster. A mid-year review of the election observation budget is carried out each year and, if necessary, prudent and proportionate to other calls on the international development budget, additional funds may be allocated.

As the security vetting of the persons short-listed to the new roster continues, the position regarding the disclosure of the list of names of the new roster remains as stated in the responses to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 73 of 29 May and 117 of 25 June 2019. Roster members are only circulated with information on election observation missions once they have completed National Vetting Bureau, or equivalent, procedures.

The issue of reasonable accommodation has been addressed in the responses to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 60 of 23 January, 153 of 5 February, 65 of 6 February, 58 of 7 February, 124 of 12 February, 100 and 105 of 26 February, 117 and 119 of 5 March, 74, 76 and 81 of 6 March, 68 of 12 March, 157 of 26 March, 115 of 16 April, 73 of 29 May 2019 and 119 of 25 June 2019, and in the Information Note attached to this response.

A characteristic of the Irish roster has been the broad base of expertise which Irish volunteers have brought in its different iterations since it was first established. Each new mustering is an opportunity to refresh the roster, and to extend the opportunity to volunteer to a range of new potential observers of differing backgrounds. Election observers who have been elected to national office bring unique perspectives into observation missions, which can enhance their quality and credibility.

Year

Vote 27

International Cooperation Budget

(in € million)

Election Observation Budget

(in € million)

2013

497.08

0.25

2014

479.16

0.18

2015

476.62

0.18

2016

486.43

0.18

2017

486.61

0.20

2018

500.13

0.25

2019

544.93

0.18

Information Note