Fine Gael TD for Kildare North, Bernard Durkan, has stated his strong support for proposals contained in the the Government’s new White Paper on Defence which was launched today (Wednesday) by the Minister for Defence, Mr. Simon Coveney T.D.
“We need to maintain an effective, efficient, competent, highly trained and equipped army, navy and air corps. Our Defence Forces need to be capable of being self sufficient and operating on our own and in conjunction with other defence forces on the international stage in what has become an increasingly challenging environment.
“The recent example of the Irish Navy participating in the rescue operations for migrants in the Mediteranean is one example of the importance of having the Defence Forces upgraded to the highest possible extent regarding training, equipment and mobility in line with the best practice. It should also be remembered that we continue to rely on our Defence Forces in all kinds of emergencies, on land, in our seas and in the air.
“I particularly welcome the commitment to double the number of women in our Defence Forces. Minister Coveney has mentioned the potential for Ireland to become more involved in dealing with gender based violence which, unfortunately, is a more prevalent issue in some of the places where are peacekeeping forces are at work. In this sensitive area, the importance of having female Defence Force members cannot be understated.”