Irish defence forces will ‘not be found wanting’ on reform, says chief of staff

Lieutenant General Sean Clancy was speaking at a ceremony Baldonnel Aerodrome in Co Dublin.

Dominic McGrath
Tuesday 03 May 2022 14:09
Chief of Defence Forces Lt Gen Sean Clancy during a ceremony marking Centenary of the military handover of Baldonnel Aerodrome to Irish Defence Forces by the RAF in 1922 (Niall Carson/PA)
Chief of Defence Forces Lt Gen Sean Clancy during a ceremony marking Centenary of the military handover of Baldonnel Aerodrome to Irish Defence Forces by the RAF in 1922 (Niall Carson/PA)

The Russian war in Ukraine is a reminder that Ireland urgently requires a “fit-for-purpose” military, the Defence Forces Chief of Staff has said.

Lieutenant General Sean Clancy was speaking at a ceremony at Baldonnel Aerodrome in Co Dublin marking 100 years since the handover of Baldonnel from the RAF to the Irish air service.

The ceremony was also attended by representatives from the RAF and the British Army.

As part of the event, Irish Air Corps personnel marched through the original main gate of the aerodrome.

The handover ceremony comes during a pivotal moment for the Irish Defence Forces after a commission recommended major upgrades and reforms.

The Commission on the Defence Forces earlier this year warned that continuing “business as usual” will leave Ireland without a credible military capability to protect the country, its people and its resources for any sustained period.

The war in Ukraine has focused minds on Irish investment in national security and renewed debates about the policy of military neutrality.

Mr Clancy told those in attendance on Tuesday that the world is “witnessing the shattering of peace in Europe”.

“The people and the state of Ukraine have been subjected to an illegal, unjustified, unprovoked and immoral attack.”

Air Corp PC9 planes take part in a fly-past during a ceremony marking the centenary of the military handover of Baldonnel Aerodrome (Niall Carson/PA)

The top defence official spoke of the “complex set of challenges that the world faces”.

“This is characterised by overt and more common breaches of what we regard as a rule-based international order.”

“All of this points to the necessity today more than ever to have a fit-for-purpose military here in this state.”

Mr Clancy directly addressed the recommendations of the Commission on the Defence Forces, which the Government has largely accepted.

“Continuing the status quo is simply not credible. It is not an option,” he said.

“We will not be found wanting in preparing the Defence Forces and the Air Corps for the future in a manner that maximises the potential of this report.”

During the ceremony, a wreath was also laid to commemorate all those who lost their lives in service to the Air Corps.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in