asked the Minister for Defence the present strength of (a) the FCA and (b) An Slua Muirí; if he has plans to increase their numbers; and the functions which they carry out at present.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Strength of FCA and Slua Muirí.
(Limerick West): The present strength of the FCA and Slua Muirí is FCA, 15,061; and Slua Muirí, 343. These components of the Reserve Defence Force perform such duties as are laid down in the Defence Act and Defence Force Regulations.
Recruiting is maintained in order to offset wastage.
Could I repeat my earlier questions? I asked for an evaluation by the Minister of the role of the FCA. Would he accept that they have played a vital role in augmenting the security forces along the Border in recent years? Does he see a significant future role for them within the security forces?
(Limerick West): I accept totally what the Deputy has said. I see a very positive and important role for the FCA in the future. Indeed, at present I am looking into all aspects of the FCA and how they can play a more positive role in the whole concept of the Defence Forces.