Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Defence John Brady TD challenged the Minister for Defence in the Dáil earlier this week over his ongoing failure to grant permission for Defence Forces Representative Associations to affiliate with the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), despite informing Teachta Brady several months ago that he was open minded to the idea.
Teachta Brady said:
“I once again challenged Minister Simon Coveney in the Dáil over his ongoing failure to grant permission for PDFORRA the Defence Forces rank and file representative organisation, and RACO, which represents Commissioned Officers to affiliate with ICTU.
“As PDFORRA was forced to take a case to the High Court, as a result of the obstinance of the government, in insisting that representative organisations are not permitted to affiliate with ICTU, the Minister, rather disingenuously claimed that he cannot discuss the case as it is before the courts.
“The Minister is very aware that PDFORRA have explicitly stated that they are prepared to drop the case following a positive intimation from the government. It is important to understand however that if PDFORRA prematurely dropped the case, and the government fails to reciprocate, this means that the case is gone. It cannot be resubmitted.
“This is one of the recommendations from the report of the Commission on the Future of the Defence Forces that can be implemented immediately. I am calling on the Minister to act without delay to allow the representative groups to affiliate with ICTU without delay, particularly with the next round of public pay talks set to commence in May. Under the current situation the Defence Forces will again be excluded.”