Defence Forces numbers fall by further 400
THE overall strength of the permanent Defence Forces has fallen by more than a quarter since a programme of reform began more than a decade ago.
From a high of 12,700 personnel, numbers dropped to an authorised level of 9,500, which was agreed to be the bottom line. However, numbers are down by a further 400 despite promises from the Government.
The annual conference of Pdforra, the defence personnel association, heard yesterday in Kilkenny that it was unacceptable to be running the organisation with less than the authorised figures.
A recruitment campaign aims to bring the numbers back up to 9,500.
But soldiers say that by the time this campaign ends, more will have retired or resigned and numbers will still be below the agreed minimum.