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Written Answers - Defence Forces Recruitment

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 762 No. 1

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 159.  Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  asked the Minister for Defence Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter  if he will consider extending upwards the maximum age for recruits joining the Army; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19677/12]

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter The 2000 White Paper on Defence and the earlier Defence Forces Review Implementation Plan both identified the requirement to address the age profile in the Defence Forces. The key element in military life is the need for personnel to maintain a level of fitness for combat readiness. This requirement must be balanced with the need to retain experience and expertise, particularly at managerial level in the Defence Forces.

The upper age limit for enlistment in the Army is under 25 years of age on the date of enlistment and for the Naval Service it is under 27 years of age on the date of enlistment. These limits are determined on the basis that the essential functions of the Permanent Defence Force requires that its members be composed of able-bodied personnel of an age which is commensurate with the functional requirements of the organisation.

I am satisfied that the existing age requirements for recruitment to the Permanent Defence Force are appropriate and I do not propose to make any changes in this area at this time.

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