Fianna Fáil TD for Longford – Westmeath Robert Troy has called out Government representatives for their failure to deliver on better pay and conditions for Defence Forces personnel.

Deputy Troy made the comments after attending the Parade for Respect and Loyalty march which took place outside Leinster House yesterday.

Deputy Troy said, “The Defence Forces are clearly in the midst of a crisis as management are finding it increasingly difficult to retain personnel. It has been repeatedly pointed out that the poor pay and conditions is resulting in much valued members leaving the Defence Forces. It is also leading to difficulties in recruiting new personnel.

“The Defence Forces not only provide a vital role in providing security for the State, but also in supporting communities on the ground during times of crisis. The Defence Forces were out in force last October following Storm Ophelia and also provided an invaluable service to the public during the snow last March.

“The poor pay and conditions for Defence Forces personnel is completely unacceptable. Fianna Fáil fully supports the repeated calls for Government to deliver appropriate pay and conditions to those that are employed by the Defence Forces for their military operations and the level of support they provide to the public. We need to see movement on this in the upcoming budget.

“It’s important to recognise the unique situation for the Defence Forces. Much of their pay comes in the form of allowances. This falls outside the remit of the Public Sector Pay Commission so the Government needs to deal with this separately.

“Certain Government representatives were quick to voice their support for yesterday’s march, but they are nowhere to be found when it comes to actually delivering on these demands. It’s time for the Government to deliver on this instead of just talking about it,” concluded Deputy Troy.