Army

  • Today in the Seanad, I introduced my Defence (Veterans Lapel Badge) Bill 2017. This Bill provides for the establishment of a Veterans Lapel Badge to be conferred upon former members of the Army, Air Corps, Naval Service and Reserve Defence Forces by the Minister for Defence. The purpose of the Veterans Lapel Badge is to raise the profile of our Defence Force Veterans who have served their country with bravery and loyalty either at home or abroad or both.

  • As the shock of the British Referendum result to leave the EU reverberates around Europe and the world, the stock exchange and money markets are set to record their worst day ever. As the UK’s closest trading partner Ireland will be disproportionately  affected by Britain’s exit.  The process of “uncoupling” from the EU will commence straight away and while our main focus is naturally on the economic implications, the geopolitical ramifications of our shared border require immediate and careful attention. As  someone who has served in both the British and the Irish Army and who grew up with “The Troubles” the fragile peace process which has been forged and carefully nurtured by citizens and politicians from both sides of the border is always foremost to my mind. Central to that peace process has been the dismantling of the “hard border” between North and South with all of its attendant security checks and border controls.

  • Last week I was delighted to host a briefing for members of the Oireachtas on Jadotville-Unfinished Business, presented by retired Commandant Leo Quinlan who is the son of unit commander Commandant Pat Quinlan (deceased). This extraordinary story has been popularized by a  movie of the same name and last year 150  soldiers from the 35th Irish battalion “A” Company were honoured in recognition of their achievement in fighting against an estimated 3,000 enemy troops in the Congo in 1961.

  • By the end of September, the Irish Defence Forces (DF) will have reached an all time low. An all time low in numbers and in morale. Proud experienced Officers, NCO’s and enlisted women and men are walking away from the career they placed their hopes and dreams in. Young women and men who want to serve their country are opting for jobs in supermarkets or fast food outlets leaving behind careers destroyed by a failure of those in charge to understand their own mismanagement. The situation is I believe made worse by political interference forcing uniformed personnel to lower standards to present an image of an organisation with a plan.

Tweets

GCraughwell
GCraughwell @Senator4London @PresidentIRL It’s in the Presidents hands

26 minutes ago. via Twitter for iPhone in reply to Senator4London

GCraughwell
GCraughwell @countryboy606 @GraTire @gemmaod1 I need to know which of the 2 independents has a real chance. Once I sign that’s it so I won’t. Waste it

27 minutes ago. via Twitter for iPhone in reply to countryboy606 • 1 retweet

GCraughwell
GCraughwell @countryboy606 @GraTire @gemmaod1 Yes Peter I can and I am not inclined to support Gemma.

42 minutes ago. via Twitter for iPhone in reply to countryboy606 • 1 retweet

 

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