Fianna Fáil Defence Spokesperson Dara Calleary has said he is baffled that the Department of Defence is now looking for army premises Cavan, Mullingar, Clonmel and Castlebar after announcing plans to shut down the barracks in each of these towns.


The Minister for Defence Alan Shatter confirmed yesterday that the Department of Defence has taken out an ad in a local Cavan paper this week searching for a premises to train members of the Reserve Defence Forces.  It has since emerged that a similar situation is happening in Mullingar, Clonmel and Castlebar, with the Department also advertising for locations.


“This is just confirmation of the Government’s warped logic in shutting down key army facilities around the country,” said Deputy Calleary. “One the one hand, Minister Shatter has moved to close the barracks in Cavan, Mullingar, Clonmel and Castlebar while on the other he is searching for another army property in the same towns. People are struggling to see the logic in this.


“In the case of Dún Úi Neill barracks in Cavan, it was built in the early 1990s and is the most modern army barracks in Europe.  It is a state-of-the-art purpose built facility that would provide a perfect training ground for members of the Defence Forces and the Reserve Defence Forces. Similarly, the barracks in Mullingar, Clonmel and Castlebar have been used by the army for decades and already have all the facilities needed for training.


“The cost of these closures is far greater than any savings that can be achieved.  This latest twist shows just how senseless the Government’s barracks closure policy is,” said Deputy Calleary.