Athlone Councillor calls for Independent Commission to examine Defence Forces

An Athlone councillor is calling for an Independent Commission to be set up to carry out a root and branch review of the Defence Forces.

The call comes following a meeting in Athlone Civic Chamber earlier today to discuss poor pay and conditions for Defence Force members.

Guest speakers at the meeting included retired Brigadier General Ger Ahearn, Austin Berry, former head of the Irish Army Ranger Wing, retired Sergeant Major Noel O’ Callaghan, and security analyst Declan Power.

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Fianna Fail councillor Aengus O’Rourke says the retired personnel painted a very bleak picture of life at present in the Defence Forces, and he’s echoing their call for an Independent Commission to look at the issue properly.

He says the recent response from the government hasn’t made any difference at all and there’s a virtual queue of people who are leaving the forces every day…