Sunday 22 April 2018

'Would it be tolerated for prisoners?' - Soldiers' loved ones expose ant infestations, cracked walls and damp in barracks

Cillian Sherlock

Issues such as infestations of ants, cracked walls and damp in army barracks must be tackled, a group of personnel's loved ones have said.

The Wives & Partners of the Defence Forces (WPDF) have questioned the standard of health and safety in the barracks.

An infestation of ants can be seen climbing the walls of a shower facility in the Cathal Brugha Barracks in Rathmines, Dublin in this video from the WPDF.

The WPDF have compared the facility to Hotel Rwanda, a movie based in a hotel during the Rwandan genocide.

"How can it be justified that [Defence Forces] personnel are expected to use these facilities?

"Would this be tolerated for any other public servant? Would it be tolerated for prisoners in prisons? Would it be tolerated in any other developed country?" the WPDF asked on Facebook.

Read More: Soldier facing overseas posting is 'worried sick' for wife and their four children left homeless

The video shows large amounts of powder has been placed in an effort to tackle the infestation.

The group have also supplied Independent.ie with photos from Curragh Camp, Kildare which show peeling paint, damp ceilings, exposed wires and cracks in the walls.

The WPDF have claimed there are also problems with rats and cockroaches in the camp.

Responding to reports in the Irish Sunday Mirror, a Department of Defence spokesperson said the maintenance of single living accommodation is the responsibility of the authorities at each barracks.

"Works have now commenced and are scheduled to be carried out on a phases basis, to be completed by the end of 2018," they added.

The WPDF have previously highlighted issues surrounding poor pay for members of the defence forces, including serving soldiers turning to illegal money lenders and a Corporal in Kildare whose family was officially registered as homeless.

Read More: Irish soldier and young family left homeless despite 17 years with Defence Forces

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