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Written Answers - Army Barracks

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 754 No. 3

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 414.  Deputy Jonathan O’Brien Information on Jonathan O'Brien Zoom on Jonathan O'Brien  asked the Minister for Defence Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter  if he will clarify the future of Custume Barracks in Athlone, County Westmeath, as the headquarters for the 4th Western Brigade; and if he will publish the recommendations made by the Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces and the Secretary General of his Department with regards the reorganisation of the Defence Forces. [6249/12]

 416.  Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy  asked the Minister for Defence Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter  if the headquarters of the Western Brigade will remain in Custume Barracks, Athlone, County Westmeath, indefinitely. [6652/12]

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I propose to take Questions Nos. 414 and 416 together.

Arising from the Comprehensive Review of Expenditure, the Government decided to maintain the strength of the Permanent Defence Force at 9,500 personnel. In response to the revised strength ceiling, a major re-organisation of the Defence Forces, including the Reserve Defence Force, has been initiated. This will encompass a reduction in the number of Army Brigades from the current three to two. I can confirm that no further barrack closures are envisaged as part of this process. The primary focus of the re-organisation is to maintain operational outputs and capabilities to best effect, within a reduced strength.

I have asked the Chief of Staff and the Secretary General of the Department of Defence to bring forward detailed proposals for my consideration. This will include proposals regarding territorial areas of responsibility. I anticipate that this work will take some months to complete. You will appreciate that in advance of my receipt and subsequent consideration of the proposals, I will not be commenting on potential future organisational matters. As the options for consideration are still being formulated, the question regarding publication of recommendations does not arise at this stage.


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