In 2017, the European Committee of Social Rights, in a non- binding ruling, found that Ireland was in violation of the European Social Charter in respect of the right to organise, that is to affiliate to certain organisations, and the right to negotiate collective agreements. It found that Ireland was not in violation of the Charter in respect of the prohibition of the right of military personnel to strike.
The European Committee of Social Rights, in arriving at its decision, took into an account a statement made in the complaint which claimed that ICTU had stated that “PDFORRA could be affiliated to ICTU with whatever conditions the Government deemed necessary”.
Defence management (civil and military) have engaged in discussions with the Permanent Defence Force representative associations and ICTU regarding the practicalities of a Defence Forces representative association forming association/affiliation with ICTU. These discussions encompassed matters of concern to all parties.
As this matter is now subject to litigation, it would not be appropriate to comment further.