Kildare South Fine Gael TD Martin Heydon has welcomed further recruitment opportunities in the Defence Forces as a boost for Kildare residents and a sign of the commitment of the Government to retain the strength of the force at 9,500 personnel.

“The recruitment of 860 new recruits in 2017 is significant and will include general service recruits, apprentices and cadets. This is a great opportunity for young Kildare people to get an opportunity in the Defence Forces and to build a career for themselves in a strong organization.

“Since we came into Government in 2011, we have kept our commitment to retain the strength of the force at 9,500. In 2016 recruitment reached a historic high with 690 new recruits taken on, including the largest cadet class in the history of the state.

“2017 will build on that with a further 860 to be taken on across all services and competition streams in 2017.  The first of these competition streams, general enlistment is now open on the Defence Forces website at  Closing date for these applications is Wednesday April 5th.