Skip to content

Defence | Defence Forces Army Report

To ask the Minister for Defence the extent to which he remains satisfied that the Army is being adequately updated in line with the recent report on the Defence Forces; if any particular issues have been identified as being in need of attention in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter.


The Commission on the Defence Forces was established on foot of a commitment in the Programme for Government, and I, as Minister for Defence, welcomed the publication of the report of the Commission on 9th February last.  The Commission has undertaken a significant body of work, encompassing wide-ranging terms of reference.  It recommends significant changes for the Defence Forces and Defence provision in Ireland. It covers high-level Defence Forces structures, defence capabilities, organisation, culture and human resources, the Reserve Defence Force and funding.

Given the significant recommendations contained in the Report, detailed consideration of these recommendations was undertaken over a period of 5 months by my Department and the Defence Forces.  This involved significant inter-departmental consultation, and I and my officials have engaged with key stakeholders to ascertain their views. Following this engagement, I returned to Government with a High Level Action Plan (HLAP) and a Memo for Government which were approved on July 12th of this year.

Some specific initiatives include the immediate commencement of planning for military radar capabilities, including primary radar and the establishment of an Office of Reserve Affairs with the priority objective of developing a regeneration plan for the Reserve Defence Force.

The HLAP set out to 38 early actions to be completed within 6 months of the Government decision and committed to the development of an implementation Plan.  

The Government approved a move to ‘Level of Ambition 2’ (LOA2), as set out in the capability framework devised by the Commission on the Defence Forces. This will result in the Defence budget rising from €1.1 billion to €1.5 billion, in 2022 prices, by 2028, the largest increase in Defence funding in the history of the State. This will allow for the required substantial transformation and investment in recruitment and equipment that were identified by the Commission.  The recent Budget for 2023 included an increase of €67m over the 2022 budget for Defence.  This includes an almost 25% increase in Capital funding and demonstrates the Government’s strong commitment to support the transformation of the Defence Forces into a modern, agile military force, capable of responding to increasingly complex security threats.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: