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Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Thursday, 16 Nov 1961

Vol. 192 No. 3

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Purchase of Helicopters.


asked the Minister for Defence if he will consider purchasing helicopters for the Air Corps.


Mr. Ryan

asked the Minister for Defence if in view of the urgent need to have helicopters available for life-saving, he will take immediate steps to have the Army supplied with such craft.

With your permission, a Cheann Comhairle, I propose to take Questions Nos. 160 and 161 together.

The purchase of helicopters for Army purposes is not at present contemplated. The provision of helicopters for life-saving is not a matter for my Department.

The Minister's job, apparently, is to take lives, not to save them.

Surely it would be a job for the Minister's Department when his counterpart in another country has helicopters as part of his air force? Does the Minister not consider that helicopters would be an addition to the Irish Air Force or the Irish Navy?

The Army authorities do not regard them as a number one priority.

The Army authorities, being landsmen, would not consider it so. In view of what happened at the Black Rock, would the Minister not consider we should have three helicopters?

I think the answer to that question was given by the Minister for Transport and Power this afternoon.

I do not consider the Minister for Transport and Power ever answered a question in this House. Arising out of the Minister's reply——

I have called the next question.

——did the Minister send a message of appreciation to the captain of the ship that launched the helicopter?

I have called the next question.

Would the Minister do me the courtesy of answering? Did he send a message?

The Leas-Cheann Comhairle has called the next question.