Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Defence, Jack Chambers TD has said that the latest treatment of members of the Defence Forces is yet another another example of the disorganisation and hands off approach adopted by the Minister for Defence and his Department.

The Deputy raised the matter in Dáil Éireann earlier this afternoon following confirmation that Irish Defence Force troops deployed in the 57th Infantry Battalion have been left effectively stranded at a United Nations Disengagement Observer Force camp in Syria.

Chambers said, “During a time when the morale among those in the Defence Forces couldn’t possibly take a blow, this is let occur. It’s another example of the disorganisation and hands off approach adopted by the Minister for Defence and his Department in their treatment of our country’s military.

“These troops were deployed and have served their time with diligence and absolute commitment. They sacrificed a tremendous amount to serve and protect and deserve to at very least be returned home when promised.

“Many of this group are mothers, fathers, siblings, and of course they all have their own parents and loved ones that they will have been so looking forward to being reunited with. This must be upsetting for very many.

“The members of the force have been let down once again and families are understandably devastated at this delay. They will have had plans made, organised holidays and welcome home arrangements in place for them now to be postponed due to the Department’s disorganisation.

“They continue to endure appalling pay and conditions, face shocking disrespect in return for their unrelenting loyalty.

“Fianna Fáil fully supports the repeated calls for Government to deliver appropriate pay and conditions to those that are employed by the Irish Defence Forces for their military operations and the level of support they provide to the public.

“Government’s indifference and complete disregard for the Defence Forces has already created a recruitment and retention crisis but it’s been laid bare now for all to see.

He concluded, “This latest farce will only stand to deter anyone remotely interested in joining, to steer clear.