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Senator Ó Donnghaile welcomes Minister’s interest in all-island Defence Forces recruitment campaign

11 October, 2022 - by Niall Ó Donnghaile

Sinn Féin’s leader in the Seanad, Senator Niall Ó Donnghaile, has welcomed the Defence Minister’s acceptance of his suggestion of national advertising of Defence Forces positions.

Speaking at the Oireachtas Defence Committee last week, Senator Ó Donnghaile had urged Minister Coveney to end the current approach of only advertising positions within the 26 counties.

Seanadóir Ó Donnghaile said:

“Last week I urged Minister Coveney to ensure that the recruitment campaign for joining the Defence Forces is rolled out on a 32 county basis. Currently, the recruitment campaign only targets potential recruits in the 26 counties.

“The Be More campaign is prominent in media outlets across the south, outlining how a career in the Defence Forces can be an attractive opportunity for new recruits. However, it is not shown on northern media outlets nor do the Defence Forces have a presence at jobs fairs at Ulster University or Queen’s University Belfast.

“This current approach has been a missed opportunity which fails to tap into potential recruitment from people living in the six north eastern counties of this island who have an interest in joining the Defence Forces. We know that the Defences Forces face ongoing issues around recruitment and retention of staff and we should do everything possible to ensure that we get the highest number of men and women recruited across the country.

“Our Defence Forces personnel perform crucial roles representing Ireland at home and overseas, providing humanitarian assistance and advocating for peace at times of international conflict. They serve our country with distinction in often challenging circumstances. Many of these members are from the north and have had long careers of service.

“I welcome Minister Coveney’s positive response to my suggestion. I look forward to working with the Minister constructively to ensure that this change can be implemented as soon as possible. I have written to the Minister today requesting a timely update on what steps his Department will undertake. I will continue to engage on this issue to ensure that this is enacted without delay.”

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