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Minister Coveney accepts the findings of the Adjudicator’s Report
in relation to the 21 Year Soldier


The Minister for Defence, Mr. Simon Coveney, T.D, today accepted the findings of the Adjudicator’s Report in respect of PERMANENT DEFENCE FORCE OTHER RANKS REPRESENTATIVE ASSOCIATION (PDFORRA) claim under the Conciliation and Arbitration Scheme in relation to the service limits for Privates and Corporals who enlisted post 1 January 1994.

In accepting the findings, the Minister confirmed that he believed key elements of Defence Forces manpower policy such as the maintenance of an appropriate age profile among military ranks to meet the challenges of a modern military force have been maintained with this finding. The adjudication, strikes a reasonable balance the need for regular throughput/turnover of personnel while also retaining appropriate experience and expertise”

The Adjudicator findings recommend:

Rejection of PDFORRA’s claim for an extension in service of Privates and Corporals for personnel who enlisted post 1 January 1994 to serve until 50 years of age.

Acceptance of the proposals put to PDFORRA by the Department of Defence subject to some limited exceptional measures as follows:

New Entrants

ˇ A revised upper service limit of 15 years be applied to new entrant Privates.

Currently Serving Privates

ˇ Line Privates to be discharged on 21 years’ service.

ˇ As an exceptional measure and a variance of the Department’s proposal, that Technical Grade 1 and 2 Privates be allowed to continue to serve until the expiry of the next two promotion panels, subject to meeting annual medical and fitness tests and any other required criteria such as not exceeding 50 years of age during this period. Thereafter, they retire after 21 years of service.

ˇ Technical Grade 3 and above Privates to serve until 50 years of age subject to them meeting annual medical and fitness tests and any other required criteria.

Currently Serving Corporals

ˇ As an exceptional measure and a variance of the Department’s proposal, that Line Corporals, Technical Grade 1 and 2 Corporals be allowed to continue to serve until the expiry of the next two promotion panels, subject to them meeting annual medical and fitness tests and any other required criteria such as not exceeding the age of 50 years during this period. Thereafter, they retire after 21 years of service.

ˇ Technical Grade 3 and above Corporals to serve until 50 years of age subject to them meeting annual medical and fitness tests and any other relevant criteria.

New Entrants

ˇ Line Privates to serve to a maximum of 15 years, subject to them meeting annual medical and fitness tests and any other necessary/relevant criteria.

ˇ Line Corporals and Technical 1 and 2 Privates and Corporals to serve to a maximum of 21 years subject to them meeting annual medical and fitness tests and any other necessary/relevant criteria. The Adjudicator recommended that a review be carried out before the end of 2019 of the upper service limits for these personnel.

ˇ Technical 3 and above Privates and Corporals to serve to 50 years of age subject to them meeting annual medical and fitness and any other necessary/relevant criteria.

The Minister stated that terms of reference for a further review of the service limit for Line Corporals and for Privates and Corporals in the Technical Grades 1 and 2 will be drawn up shortly. In concluding he re-iterated that as Military life places unique physical and psychological demands on individuals it is necessary that its members be physically and mentally prepared to meet the challenges of all military operations and to undertake their duties on deployment overseas. To this end, it is vital the age and health profile of personnel be such as to ensure that operational capability and effectiveness are not compromised in any way.


Note for the Editors:

In accordance with paragraph 62 of the Conciliation and Arbitration Scheme the Minster for Defence has laid the findings of the Adjudicator’s report on a claim by PDFORRA for an increase in the upper service limit to allow post 1 January 1994 Privates and Corporals to serve to 50 years of age before Dáil Eireann. The Minister is obliged to do so within one month of receiving the report.




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