Lack of adequate support for Naval Service evident amid acute staff shortage

Senator Mark Wall
27 September 2023

Senator Mark Wall, Labour Party spokesperson on Defence, has expressed deep concern at reports that the Naval Service has been unable to attract trainee chefs for the first time in 30 years.

Senator Wall said:

“The fact that the Naval Service is unable to attract trainee chefs is a stark illustration of the recruitment and retention crisis in the Defence Forces.

“The successful drug seizures off the Coast yesterday were a stark reminder of why we need fully resourced naval ships. It is becoming increasingly obvious that drug traffickers see Ireland as a soft landing, and gateway to Europe. We all rely on the Defence Forces to patrol our waters.

“Our Defence Forces deserve better. They deserve to be paid fairly and have a clear career path ahead of them.

“The single biggest threat to the viability of our Defence Forces into the future is this Government’s failure to adequately address pay and conditions for members. This is borne out by the fact that more are leaving than joining the Forces.

“Labour is calling on Government to take urgent action to address the recruitment and retention crisis in the defence forces. This includes:

  • Providing better pay and conditions for members of the defence forces.
  • Creating a clear career path for every member of the defence forces.
  • Ensuring that the defence forces have the resources they need to do their job properly.

“We believe the defence forces play a vital role in our society, and the Government need to commit to providing them with the support they need to do their job properly.”

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