Local Fianna Fáil TD Seán Ó Fearghaíl has said that the time has come to actively look again at the issue of extending the terms of service for Defence Forces’ personnel, giving members the option to remain in the service after 21 years.
“In light of the ongoing moratorium on recruitment in the public service and the apparent need for it to largely remain in place for a period of years, I believe the Minister for Defence Alan Shatter TD should consider looking at lifting restrictions and allowing members of the Defence Forces to serve beyond the current 21 years, should they choose to do so,” said Deputy Ó Fearghaíl.
“This is an issue that has been raised a number of occasions with successive governments by PD FORRA, which represents members of the army, navy and air corps.  In light of the ongoing need to curtail recruitment I believe there is merit in examining the 21 year cut-off for servicemen and women who joined after 1994*, giving them the option of staying on in the service.”
“The 21 year cut-off regularly sees members of the Defence Forces departing from duty before they would otherwise have.  Many within the ranks have previously expressed to me that this causes them real frustration as they feel they have more to give and would stay if they could.  In that regard I do think that the time has come to give this issue detailed thought and study again,” concluded Deputy Ó Fearghaíl.