06 April 2017

Labour TD for Longford-Westmeath, Willie Penrose has welcomed the acceptance of the amendment, tabled by the Labour Party to the Dail motion on our Defence Forces. The Government should now follow through on the proposals, giving PDForra access to the Labour Court and WRC; the immediate payment of the €15 daily armed allowance to those who served in the Mediterranean on Operation Pontus; and an independent outside medical review of the continued use of Larium.

Deputy Penrose said:

“The Labour Party tabled an amendment to the Fianna Fáil motion on Defence, calling for a number of key policy changes for our defence forces. I welcome the acceptance by Fianna Fáil of our addendum to the motion, and support of all opposition parties in the vote.

“The amendment called for legislation to provide staff representative associations in our Defence Forces, including PDForra with access to the Workplace Relations Commission and the Labour Court, as will be granted to members of An Garda Síochána.

“We also have called for a review of the terms and conditions of staff in our Defence Forces separate to the ongoing analysis of the Public Service Pay Commission, with a particular focus on enlisted personnel.

“This is to ensure that members can pursue a rewarding and sustainable career that acknowledges the costs of serving, and gives due regard to their service, and the dangers and risks they face on our behalf.

“There was agreement on 11th November 2016 through an independent adjudicator that crews serving in Operation Pontus in the Mediterranean should be paid the armed allowance of €15 per day.

“Our amendment called on the Government to ensure that all payments due to those who served in Operation Pontus should be paid immediately.

“We also called for an independent outside medical review of the continued use of Lariam due to the ongoing concerns of personnel and their families, and fears over the impact of any mental health side-effects from Larium on their career if noted on their medical records.

“We are now calling on the Government to respect the view of the Dáil and follow through on the motion as agreed.

“Our Defence Forces deserve nothing less.”

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