Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Questions (385)

Seán Sherlock

Question:

385. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Defence if he will appoint a serving member of the Defence Forces to the Defence Forces Commission. [7201/21]

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Written answers (Question to Defence)

Following Government approval for the establishment of an independent Commission on the Defence Forces in December 2020, the Commission was tasked with undertaking a comprehensive review of the Defence Forces with a mandate to report within 12 months.

The Government also approved the Terms of Reference and the membership of the Commission. The members of the Commission have been carefully chosen to ensure the optimum range of expertise in key areas. The Commission is chaired by Aidan O'Driscoll, a former Secretary General in the Department of Agriculture and, more recently, in the Department of Justice and Equality. He is joined by 14 other members with national and international expertise across a range of disciplines including public policy, defence and foreign policy, military operations, and with significant leadership experience in the public and private sectors. The Commission has been established as an independent body and thus it is appropriate that its members are not currently serving in any capacity which would be impacted by the Commission's recommendations on the Defence Forces.

I am aware that the Commission has launched its website and invited submissions from individuals and organisations on issues relevant to its Terms of Reference as part of a broad consultation process. While it is a matter entirely for the Commission, I understand that further discussions and consultations are planned with Defence Forces personnel of all ranks, including military management, and the Commission will also be engaging with the Defence Forces Representative Associations and other key stakeholder groups.