Fine Gael TD for Kildare South Martin Heydon has today (Friday) welcomed the appointment of Minister Simon Coveney as the new Minister for Defence in addition to his role as Minster for Agriculture, Food and the Marine. He follows in the footsteps of his father former Minister Hugh Coveney who served as Minister for Defence and Minister for the Marine from 1994 to 1995.


“As chair of Fine Gaels Agricutlure Committee, I have worked very closely with Minister Coveney over the past three years and I am confident that he will bring the skills he has shown in that department to bear in his new role of Minister at the Department of Defence.


“ This Government is very proud of the work that our Defence Forces carry out both within the state and throughout the world. We are focused on our key commitments to the force which include the preparation of a White Paper on Defence later this year and retaining the capacity of the force at 9,500. A recruitment process last year saw an additional 404 personnel inducted into the Permanent Defence Forces in 2013 with additional recruitment being processed in 2014.


“I look forward to working with Minister Coveney in his role and welcoming him to the Curragh in the very near future to see the heart of the defence forces in Co. Kildare.