March 31, 2020
Defence forces need certainty on duration of overseas deployments during Covid 19 health emergency – Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Defence Aengus Ó Snodaigh has asked for clarity on rotation arrangements for the troops and their families.

Rotation of Irish defence forces troops currently stationed overseas in Damascus and Kosovo on United Nations peacekeeping missions are due to rotate on dates beginning April 4th with further rotation dates in May.

Teachta Ó Snodaigh said;

“The Defence Forces authorities need to provide urgent certainty to troops currently stationed abroad on whether due rotations will actually take place over the next period or whether they will be requested to extend their overseas duties.

“They must put in place arrangements themselves with their families depending in decisions made which are out of their control.

“If it is the case that they will be requested to extend their missions, then they need to inform their families, in many cases where they have not seen them for at least 6 months.

“If they are returning home, what travel arrangements are being put in place?

“What isolation and health guidance will be offered during this Covid 19 crisis?

“Will they immediately be returned to domestic duty to help with the emergency back here in Ireland?

“There are many questions that need answering for these men and women serving abroad and they need answers quickly. I have written to the Minister for Defence today and both he and the Army Authorities need to answer these questions urgently”.

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