Finner camp personnel feel impact of restructuring in recent years

Some Defence Forces personnel in the north west have to commute significant distances because of the closure of barracks some time ago, resulting in already meagure wages being hit further, it has been claimed.

This is just one of the factors being blamed for the failure to retain and recruit personnel.

New figures released to Fianna Fail reveal that the numbers serving in the permanent Defence Forces have fallen again.

At the end of May, there were 9,044 members; there should be 9,500.

And despite a recruitment campaign during 2016, there are fewer members now than there were at the end of 2015.

Fianna Fail Defence Spokesperson Lisa Chambers says ‘there is clearly a retention crisis.’

Gerard Guinan, secretary general of PDFORA, says the cost of travel for Defence Forces members is a concern for those in the north west, where Finner Camp in Donegal is an important base.