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Passage of Ard Fheis motion to support for rights of Defence Forces 'welcome' - John Brady TD

1 November, 2021 - by John Brady TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Defence, John Brady TD has welcomed the passage of a motion at the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis this weekend in support of Defence Forces rights.

The motion asked delegates to give their support for a call on the Irish government to implement the EU Working Time Directive for members of the Defence Forces. 

The motion further recognised the right of members of the Defence Forces to affiliate with the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU). In his speech to the Ard Fheis, Teachta Brady called on the government to allow members of the Defence Forces to affiliate with ICTU.

The Wicklow TD said:

“The passing of this motion sends a clear message to the government, that the shameful treatment of members of the defence forces must cease.

"Due to government disregard for the welfare of their individual members, representative bodies of the Defence Forces have been forced to seek redress through the courts.

"The government must implement the EU working time directive immediately.

"Not only are members of the defence force members being treated unjustly, the deplorable state of their working conditions is creating huge difficulties with retention and recruitment.

"This chronic understaffing is resulting in danger to their health and welfare.

"The government must act, and it must act now.

"The Sinn Féin Ard Fheis also gave its support for the right of Defence Forces members representative bodies to affiliate with Irish Congress of Trade Unions.

"The government continues to refuse to allow this without offering any legitimate explanation as to why, despite the support of UN affiliated bodies and EU military representative bodies for the move.

"The interests of enlisted members of the Defence Forces are not being represented at pay talks due to lack of union representation.

"A government backed pay review body is not the answer.

"This is symbolic of the shambolic approach by government to the whole issue of the staffing crisis in the defence forces.

"Sinn Féin believes that Defence Force members should be entitled to the same rights as every other worker in the state.

"The government must now implement the EU Working Time Directive and allow representative bodies affiliation with ICTU.” 

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