‘Restore pay and morale to our Defence Forces’ – Kilkenny election candidates
TWO local Independent election candidates are joining forces with some well-known former members of the Defence Forces for a special public meeting in Kilkenny to discuss the need for better pay and conditions for our soldiers.
Independent councillor and European election candidate Breda Gardner will be joined at the meeting by Oireachtas member and Independent Senator Gerard Craughwell, who served with the Defence Forces, and local man Paddy Horohan, who served with the military police and is Chairman of the Veterans of the Island of Ireland Association.
Shelley Cotter will be traveling to Kilkenny from Cork to represent the Wives and Partners of the Defence Forces (WPDF) at the meeting, which will take place at the Clubhouse Hotel in Patrick’s Street this Saturday, April 27, at 2pm. All members of the public are invited to attend.
Mr Brophy, who is standing as an Independent candidate in the Kilkenny city electoral area, said poor pay is adversely affecting the morale of our soldiers.
He told KilkennyNow.ie: “The members of the Defence Forces have been fighting for restoration of pay and conditions for a number of years. Poor pay is affecting retention and recruitment of Defence Forces.”
Cllr Gardner added: “[Defence] Minister Paul Kehoe has bluntly refused to make a recommendation to the Public Sector Pay Commission to increase pay levels. It is about time our local representatives, county councillors and TD’s stood up and be a voice for our brave loyal men and women of the Defence Forces and their families here in Kilkenny.”
The Independent election candidates both called for the restoration of pay to members of the Defence Forces to “pre-2008 levels”.
And they have called for the Defence Ministry to be reinstated as a full senior Cabinet position, and “not just a figurehead”.
The candidates (pictured below) said in a joint statement: “We live in a proud military city where generations of family members have all served in the Defence Forces with great honour and distinction. Let us all be a voice for the members of the Defence Forces and their families and demand better pay and conditions.”