Wednesday 26th August 2015

New Institute for Peace Support and Leadership Training at the Curragh Camp

Fine Gael TD for Kildare South, Martin Heydon, has said that the Government White Paper on Defence is good news for the Curragh, as it sets out Ireland’s defence policy framework for the next decade. Deputy Heydon was speaking after the Minister for Defence Simon Coveney launched the Government White Paper on Defence today (Wednesday).

“I have worked very closely with Minister Coveney on the Government White Paper on Defence and I am delighted to see it published today. This is good news for the Curragh as it sets out Ireland’s defence policy framework for the next decade. I am committed to ensuring that the implementation of this White Paper gives the best possible outcomes for the future of the defence forces and in particular the Curragh Camp.

“The White Paper sets out Ireland’s defence policy requirements for defence of the state, domestic security supports and international peace and security supports. It lays out how our Defence Forces will continue to promote Ireland’s values in the world and also protect our interests. Whether we like it or not, new threats to global peace and security emerge across the globe every day, and Ireland must have a modern well trained Defence Forces to deal with that.

“In an interesting development for the Curragh, the White Paper proposes the development of a new Institute for Peace Support and Leadership Training at the Curragh Camp. It is envisaged that this new institute will have international standing and will contribute to the overall development of knowledge and experience in the areas of peace support and conflict resolution. Work on the concept will be developed over the coming 12 months with a view to it being showcased in 2016.

“The White Paper also includes a proposal for a new employment support scheme, with the direct involvement of the Defence Forces, aimed at people in the 18-24 age group, who might otherwise struggle to break out of cycles of disadvantage. A pilot scheme will be initiated in 2016 and this is a really great way to expose young people to our defence forces where perhaps they might consider a future career. I would encourage any young person to consider this path for a fulfilling and rewarding career.
“Earlier this month a new recruitment campaign was announced for our Defence Forces, which is also great news for the future of the Curragh. This recruitment campaign remains open until Friday, 4th September and the online application processed can be accessed at
“I commend Minister Coveney for holding a very consultative process in the drafting of this White Paper. A symposium was held back in May, followed by Dáil statements in June. Inputs were taken from a wide range of stakeholders prior to the finalisation of the White Paper. Defence is a rapidly changing environment and this White Paper is not a static document; it provides for regular reviews of our defence requirements.

“This Government is really committed to the future of our Defence Forces and to strengthening their capabilities. Minister Coveney made a commitment to maintain Irish Defence Force numbers at 9,500 which is very positive for the Curragh and for Kildare generally. The role for the Irish Defences Forces in international peace keeping is a hugely important one and the Irish people can be very proud of the way our service men and women represent us assisting the world’s most vulnerable people around the world.”