Paul Kehoe should apologise and withdraw remarks on naval services – Mary Lou McDonald TD
Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald has called on Minister of State Paul Kehoe to “withdraw and apologise” for remarks made in respect of the naval service and the decision to dock two ships due to staff shortages.
Speaking in the Dáil she said:
“Minister of State Paul Kehoe dismissed and contradicted the concerns of Commodore Michael Molone who wrote in June that because of an ‘inadequate number of personnel’ he took the decision to place two ships in an operational reserve capacity.
“The Taoiseach has accepted that the Naval Service faces significant challenges and in taking this decision it was ‘cutting its cloth to measure’.
"It now falls to Minister Kehoe to withdraw his remarks and apologise for them, given their inaccuracy.
“Docking two naval vessels will have serious consequences. Less naval patrols in Irish waters means less seizures and less of a deterrent for criminals.
“The naval service is operating at 88% of its capacity. It is haemorrhaging personnel and morale is on the floor. The crisis in recruitment and retention in the defence forces must be recognised and addressed. The recent recommendations of the Public Service Pay Commission are simply not enough.”