Defence Forces need to be vaccinated before they go overseas – Sorca Clarke TD
Sinn Féin Junior spokesperson on Defence, Sorca Clarke TD, has urged the government to ensure that Defence Forces personnel are vaccinated fully before they go on overseas missions.
Teachta Clarke said:
“Our Defence Forces go through a lot to go overseas. From missing family and friends to putting their lives at risk in conflict zones they really are expected to go above and beyond. While on UN missions they play a vital role in protecting the peace and security of vulnerable people abroad.
“We should strive to give them the greatest possible level of security on these missions. This is especially true during the Covid 19 pandemic when international travel has been severely restricted due to the risk of contracting the disease abroad. International travel also risks bringing new variants of the disease back to Ireland which should be avoided at all costs.
“Therefore it is essential that we vaccinate our Defence Forces members before sending them abroad on UN missions or for any other reason, especially if they are staying abroad for extended periods of time. Failure to do this would be a dereliction of duty towards the men and women in the Defence Forces on the part of our state.
“Back home in Ireland the Defence Forces are providing support groups to 9 of our vaccination centres. While they are supporting the vaccine rollout at home, we must ensure that they receive the priority their position requires, especially when travelling.
“It is imperative that we protect all of our frontline staff but this is especially true when sending them on already dangerous missions abroad.”