Army trainers told to return €2,000 gifts
Smartphones and shopping vouchers worth €1,500 have been returned to newly graduated soldiers after they were deemed too expensive to be given as gifts to colleagues who trained them.
After Commanding Officer Mark Hearns of Dundalk Barracks learnt of the gifts being provided to two Defence Forces members, the two top-of-the- range phones, a Samsung and an iPhone, and the vouchers were returned to the 30 soldiers.
The new soldiers began their training to become fully qualified members of the Defence Forces earlier this year.
As is tradition with a recruit platoon before they graduate at their passing-out parade, the group pools together to buy gifts for members of the Defence Forces who assisted them in their training.
"Generally, it might be a football or a rugby top, perhaps a bottle of something," an informed source said. In this case, however, the recruits went beyond the call of duty.
It is believed the items will now be raffled among the 30 soldiers who bought them.