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Sorca Clarke TD welcomes engagement with Chair of the Defence Forces Commission

22 April, 2021 - by Sorca Clarke TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Defence Sorca Clarke TD has welcomed the engagement of the Chairman of the Commission on the Future of the Defence Forces with the Defence and Foreign Affairs Committee this week.

Teachta Clarke said:

“I was happy to see the level of engagement with the Commission on the Future of Defence Forces. While we await the outcome of the report, it is encouraging to see well over 500 submissions to the Commission. It is also encouraging to see the hard work and wide public engagement by the chair and his team. 

“On Tuesday in the Defence and Foreign Affairs Committee I had the opportunity to discuss and question different aspects of the Commission with the Chair Aiden O’ Driscoll. I raised several issues with the chair surrounding representation of personnel and affiliation to ICTU, gender equality, renumerations, the Reserve Defence Forces, Search and Rescue, cybersecurity, the Naval Service and Air Corps and the Brigade structures to name just a few.

“In particular the different aspects of tactical and strategic operational thinking and the logistical aspects of the different branches of our military offer unique and particular problems and solutions. The issues in the Air Corps are not the same as the issues in the Naval Service or the Army or the RDF. Yet, there are common themes that run through; such as understaffing and poor pay and conditions.

“In particular, new fields such as space, Climate Change and cybersecurity need new ideas and strategies. In the latter, Ireland is especially vulnerable; holding 30% of the EU’s data and having such a strong ICT sector but very underdeveloped cybersecurity. We lose 3.5 billion a year from the economy to cybercrime. “These are just a small number of areas being addressed by the Commission. We wait with anticipation on the results and what actions can be taken to implement these changes.”

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