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For Oral Answer on : 20/06/2023
Question Number(s): 96 Question Reference(s): 29074/23
Department: Defence
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.


* To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Defence the number of applications currently being processed by the Defence Forces as a result of the most recent recruitment campaign; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– David Stanton T.D.

For ORAL answer on Tuesday, 20 June, 2023.


Military management remain committed to optimising the number of personnel inducted into the Defence Forces.

Current recruitment initiatives include ongoing general service recruitment, targeted service specific recruitment, direct entry recruitment, and the re-entry schemes.  

The maximum age of entry was recently increased to 29 years old for General Service Recruits, Cadets, Air Corps Apprentices and certain specialists.

Sanction has recently been received for 100 extra positions to facilitate the implementation of the Report on the Commission on the Defence Forces. This is in addition to the newly appointed civilian Head of Transformation and the pending appointment of a civilian Head of Strategic HR within the Defence Forces.

The military authorities have advised that, as at 31 May, 150 personnel had been inducted into the Defence Forces and a further 333 general service recruit applications are actively being processed. 3,017 General Service Recruit applications had been received in 2023 up to the end of May.  Applications for General Service Recruits, 10 direct entry specialists’ competitions and for the re-entry schemes are received and processed on an ongoing basis. A direct entry competition for Defence Forces School of Music instrumentalists closed has recently closed. Additionally, the 1,105 applications received for the recently closed 2023 cadetship competition are being processed and those placed highest in order of merit are due to be called for interview shortly.

The ‘Be More’ recruitment campaign highlights the career opportunities available in the Defence Forces and also the wider benefits of membership. As part of a Naval Service specific recruitment campaign, a Naval Service recruitment advertisement launched last week and will be rolled out across all media platforms in the coming weeks.  Additionally, a contract has recently been awarded to a marine specialist recruitment body to target individuals with the skills and expertise required by the Naval Service.

My immediate focus is on stabilising the numbers of personnel in the Defence Forces and thereafter increasing strength to meet the agreed level of ambition arising from the report of the Commission on the Defence Forces.