Launch of the Commission on the Defence Forces Report
Minister for Defence and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney TD, has welcomed the publication of the report of the Commission on the Defence Forces.
The Commission was established on foot of a commitment in the Programme for Government and Government decision in December 2020 which also agreed its terms of reference and membership. The Report has been published on the Commission’s website .
The Minister said, “this report proposes significant changes for the Defence Forces and Defence provision in Ireland. The report poses serious questions that we as a society must carefully consider. This includes the type of defence capabilities that we should retain and the level of resourcing that we are willing to commit to equip and train our Defence Forces for the roles that we require them to undertake. I hope that this report will foster real debate about the defence that we need as a modern European country.”
The Minister went on to say, “the Report is wide ranging in its recommendations encompassing high level command arrangements, Defence Forces structures, defence capabilities and funding, and the Reserve Defence Force. The recommendations on Defence Forces human resources are forthright and challenge the status quo, recommending a programme of cultural change in the Defence Forces and a wide ranging transformation agenda to ensure that the Defence Forces becomes an employer of choice.”
The Commission was comprised of members with a broad range of experience and expertise both nationally and internationally, and as part of this process the Commission met with over a thousand personnel of all ranks, at Military locations across Ireland.
The Minister stated, “I would like to thank the Chair of the Commission Mr Aidan O’Driscoll and all the members of the Commission for their dedication and hard work since the Commission was established in December 2020. The report is a significant body of work running to 224 pages and 69 recommendations, many of which have sub recommendations.”
The Minister concluded by saying, “given the significant recommendations contained in the Report, a process to allow for detailed consideration of the recommendations will now commence. This will involve significant inter-departmental consultation. I also intend to seek the views of key stakeholders. Following that engagement I intend to return to Government with a proposed response to the Commission’s recommendations and a high-level action plan. I anticipate that this process will take at least four months.”