Targets on women 'will not be met'
Soldiers warned that targets to double the number of women serving in the Permanent Defence Forces will not be met, unless steps are taken to help balance work-home demands.
Defence Minister Simon Coveney pledged at the launch of the Government's defence white paper that he was committed to doubling the number of women from the current 6pc, or 563 personnel.
However, the annual conference of Pdforra, the association representing soldiers, sailors and aircrew, heard in Galway that boosting the female figures would require increased numbers of new recruits and a higher retention rate among those already serving.
General secretary Gerry Rooney said the present system of administering leave of absence made it harder for women to qualify for pensions and this was totally unacceptable.