Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Questions (54)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

54. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the average membership of the Defences Forces in the Army, Naval Service and Air Corps; the extent to which it has been maintained or fluctuated in the past five years to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38907/19]

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Written answers (Question to Defence)

The table below details the year end strength for the Permanent Defence Force during that period 2014 to 2018.

Year

Strength at year end

2018

8,957

2017

9,173

2016

9,126

2015

9,140

2014

9,280

I am very much aware that there continues to be a shortfall between the current strength figures and those of the establishment I remain committed to maximising recruitment capacity and introducing measures to return to, and maintain, the agreed strength of 9,500.

The recent report of the Public Service Pay Commission on recruitment and retention in the Defence Forces made a series of recommendations with a view to addressing the current recruitment and retention issues and these are being progressed through a detailed implementation plan. This work is being prioritised.