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Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Mr. Alan Shatter, T.D., Addresses the
22nd Annual Delegate Conference of the Permanent Defence Force Other Ranks Representative Association

The Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence Mr Alan Shatter, T.D., today, (Wednesday 3rd October 2013) addressed the Annual Delegate Conference (ADC) of the Permanent Defence Force Other Ranks Representative Association, (PDFORRA), at Whites Hotel, Wexford.
Opening his address to the Conference, Minister Shatter thanked PDFORRA for their ongoing constructive and professional engagement noting that “The last 12 months have seen some of the most significant organisational reforms in the history of the Defence Forces. These reforms have played a very significant role in maintaining defence capabilities and outputs within the current reduced resource envelope.

Looking to the future the Minister stressed that for the Defence Organisation the preparation of the new White Paper on Defence is a priority. The preparation of the new White Paper provides the opportunity to develop a new vision for Defence taking account of the current and evolving environment. This is of fundamental importance to the State and as key stakeholders it is particularly of relevance to personnel within the wider Defence Organisation.

As well as recognising the distinction with which the Defence Forces perform their duties at home, Minister Shatter also referred to the important contribution made by the Defence Forces to international peace and security and to Irelands positive international reputation in this regard. The Minister took the opportunity to wish the Defence Force personnel recently deployed to Syria for service with the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), well on their tour of duty. “The deployment of the Force Mobile Reserve to UNDOF will help ensure that the mission can continue implementing its mandate. I believe that the Defence Forces contingent can make an important contribution to the success of the mission, as they have done throughout the world on so many occasions in the past”, he said.

In conclusion, the Minister referred to the painful and difficult steps that have been taken over recent years which have brought the country to the brink of regaining its economic sovereignty.Recognising the contribution played by the Defence Forces in this regard he stated thatPublic servants have been to the forefront in playing their part in that process. Let me assure you that the Government recognises that the necessary reforms or difficult decisions, such as the recent reorganisation, or the commitments entered into under the ‘Haddington Road Agreement’, continue to impact on the lives of serving members of the Defence Forces right across the entire organisation.”

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

ENDS



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