Written Answers. - Recruitment of Women into Defence Forces.

65.

asked the Minister for Defence if it is his intention to recruit more women into the Defence Forces; if the recruitment of women will be included in the present recruitment list or if he is going to have another recruitment drive for both males and females at a later date; and if it is his intention that such female soldiers would act as bank escorts and carry out 24-hour duty and gate duties.

Limerick West): Recruitment to the Permanent Defence Force which has been limited in recent times is being kept under review in the light of current strength and commitments. It is not possible at this stage to say when the next intake of recruits will take place but it is my intention that females will be included.

The non-combatant status of females in the Defence Forces excludes them from performing duties of a security or operational nature.