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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 821-41
 Header Item Naturalisation Applications
 Header Item Family Reunification Policy
 Header Item Start-Up Entrepreneur Programme
 Header Item Prisoner Transfers
 Header Item Citizenship Applications
 Header Item Legislative Process
 Header Item Garda Recruitment
 Header Item Garda Recruitment
 Header Item Departmental Expenditure
 Header Item Magdalen Laundries Report
 Header Item Defence Forces Reorganisation
 Header Item Departmental Properties
 Header Item Departmental Staff Voluntary Redundancies
 Header Item Pension Provisions
 Header Item Air Ambulance Service Provision
 Header Item Ministerial Appointments
 Header Item Defence Forces Training
 Header Item Defence Forces Personnel Data
 Header Item Defence Forces Personnel

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 819 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 111 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 821-41

Naturalisation Applications

 821. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the progress to date in determination of an application for naturalisation in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46871/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that a valid application for a certificate of naturalisation has been received from the person referred to by the Deputy.

As the Deputy will appreciate, the granting of Irish citizenship through naturalisation is a privilege and an honour which confers certain rights and entitlements not only within the State but also at European Union level and it is important that appropriate procedures are in place to preserve the integrity of the process. I am informed that this application is now at an advanced stage of processing and will be submitted to me for decision in due course.

The Deputy may wish to note that queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to INIS by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been established specifically for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Family Reunification Policy

 822. Deputy Derek Nolan Information on Derek Nolan Zoom on Derek Nolan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the options available to a stamp 4 citizen who seeks to bring their spouse here for family reunification purposes; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [46929/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I am advised by the Family Reunification Unit of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that details regarding the Family Reunification procedure and information regarding persons who are entitled to apply are available from my Department's Website (www.INIS.gov.ie).

  I am further informed by INIS that applications must be made in writing to Family Reunification Unit, INIS, Department of Justice and Equality, 13-14 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2.

  The Deputy may wish to note that queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to INIS by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been established specifically for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Start-Up Entrepreneur Programme

 823. Deputy Derek Nolan Information on Derek Nolan Zoom on Derek Nolan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the options available to a person who is currently resident here on a student visa to start their own business and progress their citizenship status accordingly; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46957/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter At present the option available to the student is via the Start-up Entrepreneur Programme (STEP) operated by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department. Details are available on the INIS website www.inis.gov.ie. Unlike student status, the immigration permission granted in respect of this programme is reckonable for the purposes of citizenship.

  The Start-up Entrepreneur Programme is currently being reviewed and among the elements being looked at is how it can do more to facilitate student entrepreneurship.

Prisoner Transfers

 824. Deputy Arthur Spring Information on Arthur Spring Zoom on Arthur Spring asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the options available to a person (details supplied) in County Kerry in regard to a transfer request within the Prison Service.  [46958/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I am advised by the Director General of the Irish Prison Service that internal transfers of prison staff take place when necessary to fill vacancies arising in prisons. An officer who wishes to transfer to another prison or institution completes an official transfer application form and submits it to the Governor of his or her institution who signs it and sends it to the Staff and Corporate Services Directorate at Irish Prison Service Headquarters for placement on the relevant transfer list. Officers are transferred as the need arises on the basis of seniority. I understand that the person (details supplied) has submitted an official transfer application form and is on the transfer lists for Cork and Limerick Prisons.

I am also informed that the Irish Prison Service grants temporary transfers in exceptional cases, however these are granted strictly on a temporary basis and do not confer any right to a permanent transfer to the preferred location.

Citizenship Applications

 825. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter if he will provide a breakdown of the number of non-nationals who have acquired citizenship in the State since the year 2008 on the basis of their entry to the State that is an application for asylum; application for subsidiary protection; application for a stamp 2 visa; application for stamp 4 visa; and any other method of entry into the State. [46988/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter The number of certificates of naturalisation issued for the years 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and to end October this year is approximately 4,600, 6,200, 10,800, 25,100 and 23,900 respectively. The number of recognised refugees who acquired Irish citizenship for the relevant years is 680, 680, 1,130, 1,060 and 1,180 respectively.        The further breakdown requested by the Deputy is not available as applications for a certificate of naturalisation are not categorised by method of entry into the State.

Legislative Process

 826. Deputy Thomas Pringle Information on Thomas Pringle Zoom on Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter if he will provide a date for the implementation of the mandatory vetting of organisations working with children provided for under the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46991/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter The provisions in the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012 relating to the disclosure of convictions are under review at present having regard to a recent judgment of the UK Court of Appeal in (On the Application of) T and others v. Chief Constable of Greater Manchester [2013]. The UK Court considered the circumstances in which it is appropriate to disclose convictions for old, minor offences with particular regard to Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Having considered the judgement in that case, I am bringing proposals to Government to provide that certain old minor convictions will not be disclosed under the provisions of the 2012 Act. Given the close relationship between this Act and the Spent Convictions Bill, which is before the Oireachtas at the moment, any changes to the Vetting Act will have to be reflected in the Spent Convictions Bill.

Subject to the approval of the Government, I expect to be in a position to amend the 2012 Act and the Spent Convictions Bill.I expect to be in a position to commence the provisions of the 2012 Act in 2014.

  In the meantime, the vetting of persons working with children and vulnerable persons will continue to be done on a non-mandatory basis.

Garda Recruitment

 827. Deputy Billy Timmins Information on Billy Timmins Zoom on Billy Timmins asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the format that the resumed Garda recruitment will entail; when it will commence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46994/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter The recruitment process for entry to the Garda Síochána, which is managed by the Public Appointments Service, consists of a series of assessments, competitive interview, physical and medical tests and security checks.

On entry to the Garda College, trainees will undergo the new student/probationer training programme which has been restructured into 3 phases. Phase I is for 32 weeks at the Garda College, at the end of which successful students will be attested (i.e. become members of the Garda Síochána with full police powers). Phase II is for 65 weeks based in Garda stations, and Phase III consists of 7 weeks of exam preparation, exams and assessments. The programme will result in an award of a Bachelor of Arts (Level 7) in Police Studies.

There are a number of procedural issues that need to be finalised prior to the formal commencement of that competition and these are expected to conclude in the coming weeks. A further announcement will be issued as soon as recruitment starts, both on the Public Appointments Service website and directly to those who have registered an expression of interest in joining the Garda Síochána.

Garda Recruitment

 828. Deputy Mattie McGrath Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter his plans to review the application process for members of the public to join An Garda Síochána to prioritise those members of the Garda Reserve whose members are fully attested and have completed their two year probation period. [47039/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter The Deputy will be aware that recruitment to An Garda Síochána is governed by statutory regulations. The current regulations expressly provide that the Public Appointments Service will take into account any satisfactory service by a person as a reserve member of the Garda Síochána when they are applying to join the full time force. These regulations are currently being consolidated and revised and the same provisions for Reserve members will be incorporated into the new regulations.

Arrangements are currently being finalised in conjunction with the Garda Commissioner and the Public Appointments Service, for the holding of the recently announced Garda recruitment competition, including in relation to the processing of applications by members of the Garda Reserve.

Departmental Expenditure

 829. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald Information on Mary Lou McDonald Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter if he will provide in tabular form the partial year and the full year monetary effect of his Department's budget 2014 reductions to expenditure.  [47081/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter The further current expenditure reductions for my Departments Vote - Vote 24 Justice and Equality - in 2014 will be almost €15.9 million compared with the allocation in the Revised Estimate volume for 2013.

This amount is made up of payroll related reductions of €3.2 million incorporating the impact of measures in the Haddington Road Agreement and staffing reductions. There are non-payroll reductions of approximately €10.7 million across a range of administrative and other subheads including €5.2 million in relation to the provision for Asylum Seekers Accommodation. There is also a reduction of €2 million in respect of non-recurring costs in 2014 related to Ireland‘s Presidency of the European Union.

There are also smaller technical adjustments to reflect transfer of responsibility for certain services with other Votes.

The full year impact of the measures outlined above is in the region of €19.6 million with a proportion of the reductions already reflected in the Revised Estimates for 2013.

Magdalen Laundries Report

 830. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald Information on Mary Lou McDonald Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the date on which he will bring the report of the interdepartmental group on the implementation of the recommendations of Mr. Justice Quirke before Government.  [47089/13]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter The Report of the Inter Departmental Group which I established to look at how the recommendations of Mr Justice Quirke could be implemented was discussed and agreed at Cabinet this morning. The full details of the Scheme will be published over the next few days. In cases where application forms have been completed and records verified my Department will be in a position to issue the first offers of payments of a lump sum within the next 4 to 6 weeks.

Defence Forces Reorganisation

 831. Deputy Billy Kelleher Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Defence Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the changes proposed for the relocation of soldiers based at Collins Barracks, Cork; the timeline for these changes; the way they will affect the soldiers; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [45771/13]

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter  At the time of the reorganization of the Permanent Defence Force a Company of the 12th Battalion, which was to transfer to Limerick, was temporarily retained in Cork to allow for reassignment of personnel across units. This process has now been completed and the unit has now moved to Limerick. I am informed by the Military Authorities that there are currently no plans in place for the general relocation of personnel serving in Collins Barracks, Cork to any other location in the 1 Brigade area. This does not include routine administrative movements e.g. postings, transfers and promotions, which may occur at any time but are specific to individuals.

Departmental Properties

 832. Deputy Brendan Ryan Information on Brendan Ryan Zoom on Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Defence Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the position regarding a building (details supplied) in north County Dublin; if it is close to being sold to a community group; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [46297/13]

 834. Deputy Brendan Ryan Information on Brendan Ryan Zoom on Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Defence Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter if he will provide an update on the divestment of a property (details supplied) in County Dublin; if any community groups are being given consideration to purchase and use the building; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46703/13]

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I propose to take Questions Nos. 832 and 834 together.

  Under the re-organisation programme for the Reserve Defence Force this property closed on 5 March 2013.

  Agreement has been reached for the sale of the property to Fingal County Council. The necessary legal paperwork to complete the sale and transfer of Title is ongoing at present.

Departmental Staff Voluntary Redundancies

 833. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Defence Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter if it is possible for a person who is a civilian employee of the Department of Defence and on career break to avail of a voluntary redundancy scheme while continuing to work within the voluntary secondary school system; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46445/13]

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter  Following the receipt of sanction from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER), the Department has recently introduced a voluntary redundancy scheme targeted towards civilian employees (State industrial grades) attached to military installations arising from the rationalisation of the brigade structure in the Defence Forces and the reduced requirement for particular grades/skills in the civilian workforce. The general terms of the voluntary redundancy scheme are as set out in the Collective Agreement: Redundancy Payments to Public Servants dated 28 June 2012 which was agreed between DPER and the Public Services Committee of ICTU.   Employees currently on a career break are not eligible to apply. However, an employee due to resume work in 2013 following a career break may apply provided that the employee will be resuming work in a position/grade covered by the targeted redundancy scheme.

In accordance with the Collective Agreement: Redundancy Payments to Public Servants dated 28 June 2012, an employee who accepts an offer of voluntary redundancy is not eligible for re-employment in the public service by any public service body (as defined in the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Acts 2009 – 2013) for a period of 2 years from their date of departure. Thereafter, the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform will be required prior to re-employment.

  Question No. 834 answered with Question No. 832.

Pension Provisions

 835. Deputy Billy Timmins Information on Billy Timmins Zoom on Billy Timmins asked the Minister for Defence Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter if four years full-time service in the Army will count towards pension entitlements in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Wicklow; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [45739/13]

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter  Under the Defence Forces Pensions Schemes, pensionable service, in general, consists of full-time service in the Permanent Defence Force (PDF). Service in the Fórsa Cosanta Áitiúil (FCA) is not generally reckonable as pensionable service. However, in certain specified situations, service by members of the FCA engaged on full time security duties may be reckoned and aggregated with pensionable service in the PDF. This applies in the case of former members of the FCA who were assimilated into the PDF under special arrangements made in 1982 and 1988/89 or who enlisted in the PDF outside of those special arrangements and were in service on 1 January, 1990.

The person in question, who was a member of the FCA and did not serve in the PDF, does not fall within any of the above categories. Therefore, his service in the FCA is not reckonable under the provisions of the Defence Forces Pensions Schemes and consequently is not transferable to any other State organisation for superannuation purposes.

Air Ambulance Service Provision

 836. Deputy Denis Naughten Information on Denis Naughten Zoom on Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Defence Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the current cost to his Department and the Air Corps of the operation of the air ambulance service; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [46015/13]

 837. Deputy Denis Naughten Information on Denis Naughten Zoom on Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Defence Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the total number of deployments of the Air Corps air ambulance service since its establishment; if he will provide a numerical breakdown of the range of missions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46016/13]

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I propose to take Questions Nos. 836 and 837 together.

In accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreed between my Department and the Department of Health in relation to the pilot Emergency Aeromedical Support (EAS) service which operates out of Custume Barracks, Athlone, my Department recoups from the HSE the costs associated with the Air Corps’ participation in the pilot service. The costs that are recouped are fixed costs of €186,024 per quarter (which includes salaries and related personnel costs) and operating costs of €1,620 per flying hour, as well as any other miscellaneous costs that may be incurred by the Air Corps.

From the commencement of the pilot EAS service on 4 June 2012 until 31 October 2013 the Air Corps has completed a total of 464 EAS missions. These included cases of segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), trauma, medical, paediatric and other time-critical cases, as tasked by the HSE’s National Aero-Medical Coordination Centre. To date, STEMI and suspected STEMI related missions have accounted for almost one-third of completed EAS missions. While the focus of the pilot service has been on the West of Ireland, and the majority of missions completed to date have been to counties in the West and Midland regions, patients throughout the country who met the clinical criteria have benefitted from the pilot service.

Following a review of the pilot service carried out earlier this year by an inter agency Audit and Evaluation Group established under the MOU, a Report was submitted for consideration by my colleague, the Minister for Health. Following a request from the Minister for Health, I have agreed to extend the Air Corps’ participation in the pilot in order to allow the Minister an opportunity to give consideration to the Report and to examine the options for the implementation of its recommendations.

Ministerial Appointments

 838. Deputy Róisín Shortall Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Defence Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the name, qualifications and current salary of each political staff member appointed by him. [46084/13]

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter  In my role as Minister for Defence, I have appointed Colm Jordan as my personal assistant to assist me in constituency matters. The annual salary attached to this post is €56,060 which is in accordance with Department of Public Expenditure & Reform guidelines concerning Ministerial appointments. As provided for under the terms of the Ethics in Public Office legislation, copies of Mr Jordan's contract of employment together with his Statement of Qualifications were laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas on 23 May 2012.

Defence Forces Training

 839. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Defence Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter in respect of the 5th engineer non-commissioned officers course run at the School of Military Engineering at the Curragh camp from 5 September to 22 November, if it was necessary for all those participating on the course to complete an application form; if specific candidates were encouraged by superior officers to undertake this course; if there have been unexplained withdrawals from the course; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [46135/13]

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter  At the outset I wish to refer to my reply to Parliamentary Question No. 295 of 15 October last in which the Deputy asked for details of the number of standard NCO courses underway nationwide. In providing material to allow me to reply to Parliamentary Question No. 295 the military authorities omitted to provide information relating to the 5th Engineer non-commissioned officers course. It clearly should have formed part of the reply to Parliamentary Question No. 295. I wish to assure the Deputy that it was not my intention to mislead him in terms of the reply that I gave on that occasion and the omission of the information was due to an oversight. With regard to the 5th Engineer non-commissioned officers course, I have been advised by the military authorities that individuals wishing to complete courses such as this would normally fill out a course application form at unit level in order to apply for a place on the course. In this instance, however, I understand that there were sufficient places available to accommodate all Corps of Engineer personnel who needed to complete the course in order to qualify for promotion. I understand that all personnel of Corporal rank within the Corps of Engineers are encouraged to complete the course in order to qualify for promotion.

Finally, I have been informed that while there were no unexplained withdrawals from the course, one student returned to his Unit at his own request on the 11th of September 2013.

Defence Forces Personnel Data

 840. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Defence Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the number of military personnel who have been deemed medically unfit for overseas duties on an annual basis from the year 2000 to date in 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46176/13]

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter  I am advised by the military authorities that the reasons why an application from a member of the Defence Forces to participate in an overseas mission is refused is not retained centrally but rather on that individual’s personnel file. As there have been many thousands of applications from individuals to participate in overseas missions in the period since 2000, the Deputy will appreciate it would not be possible to gather the information he has requested without the need to divert significant resources from key day to day work to undertake a trawl of personnel files. However, if the Deputy has a specific case in mind I would be happy to raise it with the military authorities on his behalf.

Defence Forces Personnel

 841. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Defence Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter if he will enable members of the Permanent Defence Force below the rank of sergeant to continue to serve after they have completed 21 years service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46312/13]

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter  Due to the robust nature of many military operations and their attendant physical training regimes, personnel are exposed to a unique range of challenging environments. In these circumstances it is vital that the age and health profile of personnel be such as to ensure that operational capability and effectiveness are not compromised. In 1990 the Gleeson Commission commented on the unsatisfactory age and fitness profile of the PDF. Thereafter, an in depth study of the Defence Forces by Price Waterhouse Consultants in 1994, who had been engaged by the Efficiency Audit Group (EAG), expressed severe criticism of the age profile of the Defence Forces. The present terms of enlistment arose from such criticism. One of the key areas identified for urgent action by the EAG was the development of a manpower policy with an emphasis on lowering the age profile of PDF personnel. In 1997 agreement was reached with the Permanent Defence Force Other Ranks Representative Association (PDFORRA) on a new manpower policy for the Defence Forces. This policy, applying to personnel enlisted after 1 January 1994, provided that service for Private Soldiers would initially be for five years with the option to be extended to a maximum of twelve years, subject to meeting standards of medical and physical fitness and conduct. Longer periods of service were envisaged for Non Commissioned Officers. In 2004 PDFORRA submitted a claim under the Conciliation and Arbitration Scheme for a further review of the terms of service applying to personnel enlisting in the Permanent Defence Force (PDF) after 1 January, 1994. A set of criteria was agreed with PDFORRA to provide longer careers for those who enlisted post 1 January 1994 while continuing to address the Government’s objective of having an appropriate age profile to meet the challenges of a modern defence forces.

The criteria require that any person re-engaging after 12 years service must be able to continue to operate at their current level both at home and overseas on an ongoing basis. Re-engagement is subject to the individual soldier meeting specified criteria in regard to physical fitness, medical category, successful completion of military courses of instruction, service overseas and conduct ratings.

- Enlisted Personnel, up to and including the rank of Corporal (and equivalent Naval Service rank), may not serve beyond 21 years service;

- Enlisted Personnel, in the rank of Sergeant (and equivalent Naval Service rank), may be permitted to continue in service up to the age of fifty years;

- Enlisted Personnel in all higher ranks may serve to the age of fifty-six.

With the approach of 2015 the first effects of the agreement, whereby Privates and Corporals may not serve beyond 21 years, will be felt by PDF members in those ranks. A claim has been received from PDFORRA for a further review in relation to this matter. In accordance with normal procedures the Association’s claim is being dealt with under the Conciliation and Arbitration Scheme for members of the PDF. The Deputy will appreciate that as deliberations under the Scheme are confidential to the parties involved it would not be appropriate for me to comment further on the matter at this time, other than to emphasise that in dealing with this issue the manpower and operational needs of the Defence Forces must be the primary consideration.


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