Minister confirms compensation measures


Kildare South Fine Gael TD Martin Heydon has said that the delay in the rotation of Defence Force troops, following their mission in Syria, has caused huge upset and distress for the serving soldiers and their families.


“I was shocked to hear of this development on Tuesday as families of members due home this week started to get in contact with me. At that point I immediately contacted the Department.


“Defence Minister Paul Kehoe has since confirmed that all overseas allowances will continue to be paid while the Troops remain abroad, their 30 days post deployment leave entitlements will only commence when they return and each serving member will receive a €1,000 ex gratia payment also. The new date for rotation is now October 15th.


“I have pointed out to Minister Kehoe that this administrative error in Lebanon has significantly impacted those troops who were due to go out on rotation also. I have reiterated to him, the value of Defence Force missions abroad which he acknowledged.


“I am also continuing to liaise with him to ensure that our troop’s contribution to the state, which is much valued, is appropriately recognised and rewarded through the public service pay commission process.” Deputy Heydon said.