Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Ceisteanna (121)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

121. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of members of the Defence Forces injured during the course of their duties in the past 20 years who have had to retire subsequently on ill health grounds but who have had their pensions reduced to recover an award; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7764/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

I take it the Deputy is referring to an award of compensation made in court on foot of legal proceedings and to Section 13(2) of the Army Pensions Act, 1923, as amended, which provides that any alternative compensation received may be taken into consideration in fixing the level of disability pension or gratuity that might otherwise be awarded for the same injury or medical condition. Section 13(2) does not provide for the recovery of an award, rather the underlying objective of Section 13(2) is to take into consideration compensation paid ‘on the double’ for the same disablement.

Records are not maintained in a format that would enable the specific information sought by the Deputy to be readily extracted, and it would involve a disproportionate amount of time and effort to extract such information.

I should explain that a member of the Defence Forces who is injured during the course of their duties will not necessarily have to subsequently retire on ill health grounds. Also, a retirement on ill health grounds does not necessarily arise from an injury incurred in the course of duty. Finally, compulsory retirement or discharge from the Defence Forces on medical grounds does not give an automatic entitlement to a disability pension, or to an award in a civil action.