From the Fine Gael website
Fine Gael is currently conducting an examination of the ways in which the Defence Forces might make an enhanced contribution to our society, in addition to the important roles which they currently hold.
The first matter being considered is whether the skills of the Defence Forces could be used to coordinate volunteers from civic society to carry out desirable projects in disadvantaged areas. The Defence Forces have a wealth of project management and logistical experience which may be of great assistance in work of this type.
The second area under consideration is whether the Defence Forces could provide an alternative for young juveniles who would otherwise be committed to prison for anti-social behaviour or other minor criminal behaviour. The Defence Forces is an organisation which sets clear boundaries, imposes discipline and infuses members with a clear sense of rights and responsibilities. It has experience in delivering structured training and developing interpersonal skills, and also has a physical infrastructure throughout the country.
With these points in mind, Fine Gael whould be very happy to receive any feedback from interested individuals or organisations on either or both of these matters. Feedback can be sent or directly to:
Billy Timmins TD
Fine Gael Spokesperson on Defence
below is my response to this.
I believe that the Irish Peramanment Defence Force (PDF) and Reserve Defence Force (RDF) have huge expeirence and ability that may not always availible in the private sector. I believe both the PDF and RDF personnal should be given paid leave to help out on emergency teams in conjunction with relief organisations.
On the issue of the defence forces been used as a ‘alternative for young juveniles’ would be a huge mistake. The PDF as a professional army is the best way it will sevre tha nation and puttin young people who do not want to be there in to it would be a huge mistake. I believe the RDF should be kept as a voluntary organisation as that best suits its purpose and will ensure that only those interested will be there.
I hope you will take my views on board