Tánaiste And Defence Minister Says Naval Service Can Crew 3 Out Of 4 Ships

The Tánaiste and Defence Minister says the naval service can crew three out of four ships but admits that staffing difficulties are critical.

His comments comes after the personnel crisis in the naval service is being blamed for the entire fleet being tied up at Haulbowline.

In the past patrols have been delayed or temporarily postponed due to a lack of specialist personnel however there is now a shortage of able seamen which means the ships cannot sail.

PDForra which represents members of the Defence Forces has long been raising the difficulties facing naval personnel with the low level of wages a major stumbling block in attracting and retaining people.

Defence Minister Micheál Martin says the Government has approved a rise in starting pay for people moving into the navy, up to €37,000.

Speaking to RedFM News PDForra President Mark Keane, who works at the naval base, says it’s time the recruitment and retention crisis was properly tackled:

“We are facing into, as we call it, the perfect storm. We are hemorrhaging people at a great rate. We’re not retaining people as much as we’d like to. I think that’s clearly demonstrated in the numbers who are continuously discharging from the naval service. It’s the remuneration for the job that people do; they spend long periods away from home and feel that they’re not being remuneration for that job”.


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