By General Secretary

PDFORRA, which represents soldiers, sailors and aircrew of the Defence Forces, today welcomed the announcement of a decision by Government to purchase two new naval patrol vessels. This long overdue announcement is of immense importance to our Naval Service members who are currently operating on some old ships, which not up to the standard required for the job.

 Gerry Rooney, General Secretary of PDFORRA said today, “This overdue announcement is welcome. Last year we publicly raised the health and safety issues and indeed risks associated with operating ships which are over 30 years old. This has seen hull damage become apparent in some ships as well has unacceptably levels of noise in certain areas. The decision to purchase new ships will mitigate some of the adverse impact of the years of chronic underfunding”.

 Despite the lack of funding the Naval Service has significantly increased its seagoing productivity over the last decade. Over that period of time the proportion of GDP spent on Defence has fallen from 1% to the lowest in the EU at 0.5%.

 PDFORRA looks forward to the arrival of two new Naval Service patrol vessels, one in 2014 and one in 2015, as announced.


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