Decision on Army closures delayed
THE Government is to postpone the decision on closing three Army barracks until after the presidential election. The move comes after Junior Housing Minister Willie Penrose said the closure of Columb Barracks in Mullingar would be "crass stupidity and economic lunacy".
Barracks in the firing line also include Clonmel and Cavan.
Meanwhile, independent presidential candidate Mary Davis said there is no justification for closing down barracks in communities.
Speaking in the midlands this weekend, Ms Davis said Defence Forces personnel and their families are the lifeblood of the community and to rip that out of our communities would be wrong.
"The work that the men and women of our Defence Forces do in our communities, particularly at difficult times, and the pride they instill in all of us as uniformed ambassadors overseas as peacekeepers, means we must cherish the important role our army personnel, their families and the barracks, play in our communities, socially and economically."
Defence Minister Alan Shatter has said that he was anxious to ensure, as far as possible, that the Government was not forced by budget constraints to introduce a substantial reduction in the number of personnel in the Defence Forces.