Retention crisis in Defence Forces shows no sign of easing – FF

– Latest figures indicate the number of Defence Forces personnel has fallen to 9,010 –

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Defence, Jack Chambers TD has expressed concern regarding the continued decrease in the strength of the country’s Defence Forces.

Figures recently provided to the Dublin West TD show that the number serving in the permanent Defence Forces have fallen yet again. As of the end of May this year, there are 9,010 members recorded while there were 9,044 on the same date 12 months previous.

Deputy Chambers commented, “Despite the fact that the Defence Forces has an approved establishment strength of 9,500, over the last five years it has never even come close to achieving that target.

“Since 2015, over 2,000 recruits have been taken on yet numbers have continued to fall, indeed they are down 270 since then. It is absolutely clear that the substantive issue here is retention.

“In contrast, An Garda Siochana have had 2,000 recruits since 2014 which has resulting in a net increase of 600. As I understand it, some members of the Defence Forces have left to join the Gardaí.

“It was revealed earlier this year that HR within the Defence Forces conducted a survey of 167 personnel who paid to leave the Defence Forces early. Findings revealed that the vast majority departed for better pay and conditions elsewhere.

“When members feel compelled to pay to leave, there can be no denial that there is a crisis in retention,” he concluded.

Fianna Fáil 

Jack Chambers TD

Spokesperson on Defence

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