June 2, 2023

Defence Forces ‘in grave danger’ – Kilkenny TD hits out at ‘Government inaction’

KILKENNY TD Deputy Bobby Aylward has launched a scathing attack on the Government, accusing it of failing to provide proper support for our Defence Forces.

Deputy Aylward spoke out in the wake of the publication of a new report by the Representation Association of Commissioned Officers (RACO), which revealed four out of every five recently inducted Defence Forces officers plan to leave early because they do not see it as being a viable career path.

The Fianna Fáil TD described the findings as “a sad indictment on the Government”. And he said it is a result of Government policy that officers find themselves in this situation.

Deputy Aylward said the Defence Forces are “in grave danger” under the Fine Gael-led government.

He added: “The RACO report further hits home the despair clearly felt by some officers. They have pursued a vocation, spent years in training and education, made substantial personal and professional sacrifices to honourably serve our State, and are desperate to get out.

“It’s not news that there is a recruitment and retention crisis in the Defence Forces. I have raised this issue with the Minister for Defence time and time again as have many others. There is a long record of inaction on Fine Gael’s part when it comes to the appalling treatment of Defence Forces personnel.

Deputy Aylward (pictured below) called on the Government to immediately initiate “a comprehensive root and branch review” of the Defence Forces before “further damage is done”.

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