asked the Minister for Defence if he will give retiring members of the Defence Forces the option of training-working with the Reserve Defence Force or doing annual training with the Permanent Defence Force.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Defence Forces Training.
Under Defence Force regulations officers retiring from the Permanent Defence Force may be appointed to the Reserve of Officers (First Line). Non-commissioned officers and men may be transferred to the Reserve of Men (First Line). Former members of the Permanent Defence Force may join An Fórsa Cosanta Áitiúil or An Slua Muirí.
In order to achieve reductions in the level of public expenditure the suspension of annual training for the First Line Reserve and the curtailment of annual training for An Fórsa Cosanta Áitiúil and An Slua Muirí continues to be necessary.
As I understand it, the position is that the Reserve Defence Force consists of two elements. The First Line Reserve is made up of retired members of the Permanent Defence Forces and the Second Line Reserve is made up of members of the FCA. Does the Minister see that there would be any merit or benefit in amalgamating both and making a unified reserve Defence Force?
There is some merit in that idea and I will have it examined.
Would the Minister further agree that if both are amalgamated retiring members could be given the option of completing their annual training with the Reserve Defence Force and it would be an opportunity to pass on that experience, training and expertise to the part-time reserve Defence Force?
There is some merit in that. The only reason for the curtailment at present is a financial one, but there is something to be said for the principle of it. I will have it examined.
Before moving on to Question No. 17, I want to make a small point of order in respect of Question No. 16 which was simply to ask the Minister if he had examined the draft constitution of the Permanent Defence Force Representative Association.
Sorry, Question No. 16 has been disposed of.
It was taken in priority time.
That is so.
It was not answered.
It does not arise now Deputy.
On a point of order——
Deputy, in respect of this matter there is no point of order. Question No. 16 was disposed of with the previous question.
If you would bear with me——
Question No. 17 please. Is the Deputy defying the Chair in the matter?
Not at all.
Is it not clear to the Deputy that it was disposed of with a previous question?
I did not seek to intervene in priority time because of the importance——
Because you were not allowed to intervene; you were not entitled to intervene.
May I ask——
I am sorry, it cannot and does not arise now.
I think this is unfair.
I will not allow Deputy McCartan to circumvent my ruling in this matter. He will now resume his seat.
I am not seeking to circumvent your ruling.
Deputy McCartan please resume your seat.
I believe this is an important issue.
I shall have to ask the Deputy to leave the House if he persists in challenging the Chair in the matter of a clear issue.
On a point of order, we did not get an opportunity to discuss it.
Question No. 17, please.
He has not told us whether he got the draft constitutions.
This is disgraceful conduct.
I am trying to get some answer.
In the proper fashion, according to the rules which I administer.