Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Ceisteanna (45, 46)

Pádraic McCormack

Ceist:

49 Deputy Pádraic McCormack asked the Minister for Defence if, in view of the impending retirement of the current military judge and the crucial nature of his role within the military justice system, a competition to find a replacement has been conducted; the result of that competition; when his replacement is due to take up the role; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23499/10]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Defence)

The current Military Judge is due to retire on 22 July next. The Department of Finance has recently approved the filling of this post and the military authorities are in the process of inviting eligible officers to provide expressions of interest. My Department is also in the process of establishing the committee for the purpose of identifying officers and informing the Government of the suitability of those officers for appointment to judicial office, pursuant to Section 184K(1) of the Defence Act 1954.

I fully recognise the importance of the Military Judge to the operation of the military justice and courts-martial system. Consequently, it is my intention that the replacement Judge will be appointed expeditiously.

Question No. 50 answered with Question No. 42.

Jim O'Keeffe

Ceist:

51 Deputy Jim O’Keeffe asked the Minister for Defence the number of non-nationals who are members of the Defence Forces; if there is any arrangement with the member states of the EU to facilitate this; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23304/10]

Amharc ar fhreagra

The question of the recruitment of Non-Irish Nationals to the Defence Forces is not a new one. Defence Force Regulations have always allowed for the recruitment of non-Irish nationals to the Defence Forces. Entry to the Permanent Defence Force is either through the Cadetship Competition, Apprenticeship Competition, General Service Enlistment or Direct Entry Competitions which are held to fill vacancies in specialist appointments. All applicants for each of these entry streams are required to meet qualifying criteria.

There are generally more applicants for positions in the Defence Forces than places available. The Department and the Defence Forces are fully committed to ensuring that all suitably qualified candidates who wish to do so are given the opportunity to join the Defence Forces. The primary focus in recruitment is to attract people with the core competencies required by the Defence Forces.

Non-Irish Nationals have been and are currently employed in the Permanent Defence Force, but this has mainly been in certain specialised areas.

In terms of statistics, it is not the Defence Forces approach to categorise personnel by nationality or place of birth. However I am aware that currently 8 of the 20 Medical Officers in the Defence Forces are Non Irish Nationals.

An applicant who is a native born or naturalised citizen of another EU Member State may be enlisted into the Defence Forces providing they meet the same criteria as Irish nationals and are security cleared. Consequently there are no specific arrangements with Member States of the EU in relation to the recruitment of Non-Irish Nationals to the Irish Permanent Defence Force.

Question No. 52 answered with Question No. 32.