Fine Gael Kildare South TD Martin Heydon has highlighted the potential for a Peace and Leadership institute at the Curragh Camp with Minister for Defence Simon Coveney. Deputy Heydon was speaking in the Dail on Tuesday responding to comments from the Minister that he believed there was scope for such a development.

“The potential of the Defence Forces Training Centre at the Curragh to be expanded is something I have discussed with Minister Coveney on a number of occasions in the past. Such an expansion would allow us to build on the strong reputation we have as participants in UN peace missions and use that reputation to develop an international defence training centre in Kildare.

“In the Dail debate this week on the future of Defence policy, Minister Coveney recognised the long and proud tradition of Irish Defence Force participation in UN mandated peace support and peace keeping operations. He acknowledged that there was scope for the development of an International Peace Institute, building on that tradition.

“There is now a huge potential to draw on the experience of our personnel who are world leaders in conflict resolution and use that expertise to develop an International centre of excellence for leadership and peace support that would have the potential to draw thousands of international UN personnel to the Curragh and Kildare area to study, giving a very significant boost to South Kildare’s economy. I believe the Defence Forces Training Centre at the Curragh is the ideal location for that development.

“In conjunction with my ongoing survey of the use and management of the Curragh plains which I will be presenting to Minister Coveney shortly, I will continue to work with the Minister and his officials to ensure the International Institute at the Curragh becomes a reality.”