Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Paul Kehoe announces €16m in additional funding for Defence.

Minister Kehoe today announced the allocation of €922m in Defence funding for 2017. This represents a significant increase of over €16m on the corresponding 2016 allocation and will allow Defence to deliver on the commitments outlined in the White Paper on Defence.

Minister Kehoe stated: “Defence Force personnel are highly professional, possessing the operational skills, commitment and dedication required to undertake the roles assigned to them by Government, both at home and overseas. The increased 2017 Defence allocation will ensure that the Defence Forces have the necessary resources and capabilities to allow them to undertake these roles.”

The White Paper on Defence has identified and prioritised the need for capital investment on a broad range of replacement defensive equipment programmes and on upgrading the Defence Forces Built Infrastructure. In that regard, Minister Kehoe emphasised the importance of the additional €7m in capital funding allocated to the Defence Vote for next year, over the €67m originally provided for 2017 in the 2016 - 2021 Capital Plan. He stated: “As indicated by its approval of the White Paper on Defence, this Government remains supportive of the role played by the Defence Forces. This support is further evidenced by the provision of an additional €7m in capital funding to the Defence Vote in 2017, funding which will go towards priority equipment and infrastructural programmes.”

The 2017 budgetary allocation will allow Ireland to continue to deliver on all roles prescribed for the Defence Forces, both domestically and overseas and Minister Kehoe highlighted, in particular, the role played by the Naval Service in their continued deployment to the Mediterranean, as he stated: “I am very proud of the work of the Naval Services in assisting with the humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean. Many lives have been saved as a result. To date, Irish participation in the humanitarian mission has resulted in the rescue of over 13,400 migrants, which clearly demonstrates the value of Ireland’s involvement in this important humanitarian response. The 2017 allocation contributes towards the purchase of an additional ship, due for delivery in 2018. The acquisition of modern new vessels will ensure that the operational capability of the Naval Service is maintained.”