Worsening recruitment and retention crisis in Naval Service 'must be addressed' - John Brady TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Defence, John Brady TD, has expressed concern at the continuing failure of the Minister for Defence to address the issue of retention and recruitment in the Defence Forces.
Teachta Brady’s comments come following reports that strength of the naval service has now fallen below 800. The established figure for the naval service is 1,094.
The Wicklow TD said:
“I along with many other concerned individuals have spoken repeatedly about the recruitment and retention crisis in the Defence Forces, which is at a critical level. If anything, it is only set to deteriorate further under this current government.
"In this year alone, 102 personnel have left the naval service, with a further 22 waiting to be discharged in the next two months.
"In the same period, a mere 28 recruits joined the service. This is clearly unsustainable.
"Make no mistake about it, responsibility for the current crisis lies squarely at the door of the government and the Minister.
"The reality is that members of the Defence Forces have been neglected for too long. The government is guilty of taking its members for granted, of failing to address the very real problems that are impacting on the lives of defence force personnel.
"The impact of the recruitment and retention crisis has left units vastly under resourced, meaning that existing members have to work longer hours under more stress conditions to make up the deficit in numbers.
"This has the effect of impacting on the quality of life of members and driving down job satisfaction.
"The government needs to urgently address the issue of the Working Time Directive (WTD).
"The introduction of the WTD is the only way that the members of the defence forces can be confident that their working conditions will be protected.”