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Minister of State for Defence, Mr. Paul Kehoe, T.D., Addresses the
21st Annual Delegate Conference of PDFORRA.

The Minister of State for Defence Mr Paul Kehoe,T.D., today (Wednesday 3rd October 2012) addressed the Annual Delegate Conference (ADC) of the Permanent Defence Force Other Ranks Representative Association, (PDFORRA), at the Ormonde Hotel, Kilkenny. The Conference is taking place against the backdrop of an ongoing major reorganisation of the Defence Forces.

Speaking at the Conference Minister Kehoe acknowledged that the current reorganisation, taken with the earlier barrack closures “is far reaching and challenging” and that “there is no going back.” The ongoing reorganisation and its implementation demonstrates in the Defence Sector the proactive implementation of the Croke Park Agreement. Successful implementation will depend on the continued leadership of civil and military management in the Department of Defence, and on the positive and constructive engagement of the Representative Associations, on behalf of their members, under the provisions of the Croke Park Agreement, the Minister said.

The Minister also noted that while the current reorganisation poses many challenges and some difficulties, it will also deliver significant opportunities for current and future members of the Defence Forces through promotion and retraining.” The Minister also acknowledged the role of PDFORRA in signing off a new NCO Promotion Agreement giving their members a new merit based promotion system reflecting modern HR standards.

The Minister further stated that the Government is committed to maintaining a significant overseas presence within the available resources and capabilities of the Defence Forces”. The main overseas missions, in which Defence Forces personnel are currently deployed, is the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) with 356 personnel and the Minister took the opportunity to wish all involved in the battalion rotation, beginning next month, well on their tour of duty.

In conclusion, the Minister said that he was convinced that the further challenges to come will continue to be met head on in a manner that reflects the professionalism, capabilities and resilience of the membership of Óglaigh na hÉireann.

The Minister wished the delegates every success with the remainder of the conference.


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