March 22, 2021
Action needed on ‘personnel crisis’ in Naval Service – Sorca Clarke TD

Sinn Féin Junior Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Defence Sorca Clarke TD has called for action, following reports of further personnel losses in the Naval Service.

Teachta Clarke said:

“Almost exactly one month ago today I highlighted the issue of understaffing in the Naval Service and I still haven’t been offered any solutions by the government. Even more worryingly, the numbers appear to be even worse than originally thought.

“Given the fact that the stated minimum necessary for the Naval Service to function properly is 1,094, it was disturbing to hear that actual numbers were more than 200 short of this stated minimum. Now we know that a further 37 were untrained personnel.

“At the moment, ships are being run by skeleton crews, operations are being delayed and aborted due to crew members not being available and there is speculation tat new flagships cannot be purchased as we are unable to supply crews for them. This is all terrible news but what is worse is that the trend is only continuing to get worse.

“What we have now is a personnel crisis. If we do not stop the constant loss of trained personnel to the private sector, the ability of our Naval Service to adequately perform its functions will be seriously called into question.

“It is imperative that we take action now to ensure we can retain our Naval Service staff. If we do not, the functionality of the Naval Service and its ability to carry out its duties will be severely threatened.

“The Government must take action on this. I will continue to raise this with the Minister, to ensure this issue is resolved.”

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