Irish Defence Forces announce 800 new jobs
More than 800 new jobs in the Defence Forces have been announced this afternoon.
A major recruitment drive is being launched with a special focus on increasing the number of women and "new Irish" into the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service.
Minister with responsibility for defence, Paul Kehoe said the campaign would target an intake of 860 personnel, including general service recruits, apprentices and cadets.
"This recruitment campaign is extremely significant as it opens up opportunities across the three services for young people to serve their country as members of Oglaigh ha hEireann and also offers an unique career and first class training".
Mr Kehoe said the campaign would build upon the successes of last year when recruitment reached a historic high, with an intake of 690 personnel, including the largest cadet class in the history of the State.
The aim is to bring back up the strength of the Defence Forces to the sanctioned level of 9,500.
Mr Kehoe said: "It is vital that we continue to recruit young men and women to maintain the strength level and military capability and to ensure fresh thinking."
He encouraged young people to "join our team".
He underlined the need for increased participation from women and the different ethnic groups and nationals now resident in the State and said the military must represent the richness and diversity of the community they served.
Mr Kehoe said the Defence Forces welcomed and respected all, irrespective of gender, creed, ethnicity or sexual orientation.
The military has been struggling to increase the number of women in the ranks, in line with a commitment given in the defence white paper in 2015 to reach a target of 10pc.
A recent advertising campaign has been highlighting the attractions of a life in the Defence Forces for women.