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Minister for Defence, Mr. Simon Coveney, T.D., Addresses the
24th Annual Delegate Conference of the Permanent Defence Force Other Ranks Representative Association
The Minister for Defence Mr Simon Coveney, T.D., today, (Wednesday 7th October 2015) addressed the Annual Delegate Conference (ADC) of the Permanent Defence Force Other Ranks Representative Association, (PDFORRA), at the Clayton Hotel, Galway.

In his address to the Conference, Minister Coveney acknowledged the value, importance and significance placed by the Government on the tremendous work being done by members of the Defence Forces in many parts of the world and in doing so he re-iterated that he is committed to maintaining the stabilised strength of the Permanent Defence Force at 9,500 personnel.

Speaking at the conference Minister Coveney said For the first time in many years, Defence expenditure is on the increase again linked to the White Paper. The focus is on peacekeeping support and new challenges we face in the coming years.”

Referring specifically to the the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean Sea, he commended the crew of L.…. Niamh and L.…. Eithne for their outstanding endeavours in saving the lives of so many vulnerable and desperate people.

Looking to the future the Minister stated that “there has been a significant boost in capital funding for the Defence Sector contained in the recently announced Capital Plan. This is an important element of the implementation of the White Paper on Defence. The €437 million allocated to Defence, includes an additional €65 million over the 2016-2021 timeframe. The Minister went on to thank PDFORRA for their engagement in the process, which provided valuable inputs and informed the decisions contained in the White Paper.

The Minister also referred to 2016 stating “the year ahead will see the State formally marking a very significant number of key anniversaries arising as part of the Decade of Centenaries and both the Department of Defence and the Defence Forces will provide significant support and input to many of these commemorative events”.

In conclusion the Minister stated the “recent events have very publically shown the professionalism, character and calibre of the members of ”glaigh na h…ireann” and wished the delegates every success with the remainder of the Conference.

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