Fianna Fáil Defence Spokesperson Lisa Chambers has expressed concern about the continuing fall off in Defence Forces personnel.
New figures released to Fianna Fáil reveal that the numbers serving in the permanent Defence Forces have fallen yet again – with only 9,044 members recorded as of 31st May 2017.
“The Defence Forces has an approved establishment strength of 9,500. However, despite a significant recruitment campaign during 2016, there are fewer members now then there were at the end of 2015.
“The Taoiseach, who is also Minister for Defence, may make claims in the Dáil that more people are applying to join the Defence Forces than there are positions available, but that simply shows the extent of his denial on this matter.
“Despite some 590 General Service Recruits and 100 Cadets being recruited in 2016, and more than one hundred further General Service Recruits joining earlier in 2017, there is still more than one hundred fewer Defence Forces personnel now than there was at the end of 2015.
“There is clearly a retention crisis and it’s time that the government finally got its head out of the sand and addressed it”.