atest press release from George Jones, issued on Thursday, September 7th 2023…
When issuing final details of the 33rd La Touche Legacy Seminar to be held on September 15th and 16th, chair of the committee, George Jones, called out the Government over the current state of the defence forces and gardaí.
“Since I retired from active politics in 2014, I have seldom made any comments on the current situation,” said Jones, “either in the Country or Wicklow, but when I witness what’s currently happening to our navy, air force and army, along with the garda situation, it leaves me very disappointed.
“The historical links Fine Gael have with the defence forces and gardai would appear to ring hollow with the current party ministers, who appear to have their heads in the sand concerning the dire situation that exists.
“Because of low numbers, the navy can now only put two ships on active duty, yet the need for such protection has never been more crucial, both with the war in Ukraine and Ireland’s drug issues. The recruitment problem is being blamed on Covid, but the problem has existed prior to this pandemic.
“The lack of attention to these problems is a total disgrace.
“Providing overtime to the Gardai is no solution; what is now required is a
proper pay and promotional policy
along with the decision to increase the Garda force to 20,000 to reflect the huge increase in our population.
plans should be prepared to provide a second training college to fast track recruitment.
“The Government also needs to address the Navy, Air Force and Army issues now and plan long term to again provide a proper
pay structure and promotional opportunities.
along with providing a full minister of Defence going forward.