Defence forces should have 'sufficient' pay - Higgins

President Michael D Higgins has said members of the Defence forces should have incomes that are sufficient to provide for themselves and their families.

11.9.2019

President Michael D Higgins has said members of the Defence forces should have incomes that are 'sufficient' to provide for themselves and their families

President Michael D Higgins has said members of the Defence forces should have incomes that are sufficient to provide for themselves and their families.

Speaking at an event to honour seven exemplary members of military this evening he said showing appreciation is not enough, words must be matched with actions. President Higgins said "It is no secret that changes in conditions for serving men and women has brought its own challenges and, I have to say Supreme Commander, it has brought hardships." He said these are challenges that should be addressed with "sensitivity and urgency" and those providing the service should be real partners in interpreting and responding to such changes. He said "should this not happen, there is a real danger of a gap opening-up between our expressed appreciation of their work and the circumstances we deliver for its practice". Recruitment and retention of members was also raised by the President during the ceremony in Áras an Uachtaráin. He said "serving men and women should have conditions including an income and prospects that are sufficient to provide for themselves and their families". He continued "I have heard and read with anxiety of the distress that is being experienced by some of those who are giving their all to serve the State". Amongst the recipients this evening was Able-Mechanician Ryan O'Driscoll who was given an award for Respect. During his four years with the Navy he has been involved in a number of search and recovery operations and was directly involved in the recovery of the body of Captain Mark Duffy who died when Coast guard Rescue Helicopter 116 crashed into Blackrock Island off the coast of County Mayo in March 2017. He serves on the Le Samuel Beckett where he has helped with the rescue of over 3,400 migrants in the Mediterranean. Private Thomas Carew was honoured with the award for Selflessness for risking his own life to try and save the life of a motorcyclist who had crashed and was propelled into an estuary in high tide. The award for Physical courage was given to Cpl David McCormack for returning to service in full fitness following 10 months of rehabilitation after a serious assault left him with life-threatening injuries. He was honoured for showing "single minded determination" during the 10 months of his recovery and rehabilitation. Retired Gunner David Stack was recognised for his integrity and praised for putting his unit ahead of his own needs and working for 48 hours assisting external agencies during Storm Emma. The award for Loyalty was given to Sergeant PJ McCabe while Cpl Cathriona Lacey was honoured with the Moral Courage award. President Michael D Higgins presented the overall award to RSM John Murray after forty one years of service. Read more: RTÉ News

Hundreds of Defence Forces recruits paid to leave before completing their trainingThe number of recruits paying to get out of the Defence Forces before their training has even finished confirms claims that the retention crisis can't be overcome just by major recruitment drives alone.

Hundreds of Defence Forces recruits paid to leave before completing their trainingThe number of recruits paying to get out of the Defence Forces before their training has even finished confirms claims that the retention crisis can't be overcome just by major recruitment drives alone.

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11 September 2019, Wednesday News

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