Michael Staines
Michael Staines

14.02 12 Sep 2019


Share this article


The Tánaiste has said he has no “huge concerns” over President Michael D Higgins comments on pay and conditions in the Defence Forces.

Simon Coveney was speaking after President Higgins said serving men and women had a right to expect an income that can provide for themselves and their families.

President Higgins also serves as Supreme Commander of the Defence Forces; however, it is unusual for a sitting president to intervene in political matters.

Speaking at the Fine Gael think-in in Cork this afternoon, Minister Coveney said the Government shared President Higgins' "concern and frustration” over the recruitment and retention issues facing the military.

Defence Forces

President Higgins made the comments during the Defence Force Values Awards ceremony recognising the “outstanding service” of seven members of the Defence Forces.

He said it is “no secret” that changes in working conditions have brought challenges for defence forces members.

“Many are understandably concerned about the ability to attract and retain people of the highest calibre in the Defence Forces,” he said.

“It is not too much, I would suggest, to expect that serving men and women should have conditions including an income and prospects that are sufficient to provide for themselves and their families.

“Indeed, as they are the employees of the State, such conditions should be exemplary for other parts of the society and economy.

“I have heard and read with anxiety of the distress that is being experienced by some of those who are giving their all to serve the State.”

"Highest values"

On The Pat Kenny Show this morning, the Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe gave this response when asked in the president spoke out of turn.

“President Higgins has done a fantastic job representing our country here at home and abroad,” he said.

“I believe he has conducted himself [well] here and reflected the highest values of the institution of the presidency.”

Earlier in the summer, the Government approved a €10m annual package aimed at improving take home pay for Ireland’s soldiers, sailors and aircrew.

The package included a range of allowance increases but no rise in core pay.


Share this article


Read more about

Defence Forces Higgins Michael D Higgins

Most Popular

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share


Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

Lunchtime Live

Lunchtime Live

12:00-14:00

Share

Up next

MONCRIEFF

MONCRIEFF

14:00-16:00

Share

THE HARD SHOULDER

THE HARD SHOULDER

16:00-19:00

Share

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

19:00-22:00

Share

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

22:00-00:00

Share

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

00:00-06:00

Share

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

06:00-06:30

Share

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

06:30-07:00

Share

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

07:00-09:00

Share

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

09:00-12:00

Share

LUNCHTIME LIVE

LUNCHTIME LIVE

12:00-14:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on