Dáil Éireann - Volume 411 - 31 October, 1991

Written Answers. - Defence Forces Procedures.

[2305] 59. Mr. Bell asked the Minister for Defence if, in respect of the redress of wrongs procedure in use in the Defence Forces at present, he will outline (1) the manner of its operation; (2) the number of such proceedings invoked in each year, differentiated as to officers and other ranks, from 1 January 1985 to 30 September 1991; (3) the results of such proceedings, as in whether granted or disallowed, in so far as individual proceedings have been concluded, in each of the years from 1985 to 30 September 1991, differentiated by officers and other ranks; (4) the number of such proceedings that have been submitted for his decision in each of the years between 1985 to 1991, and the results of same, differentiated by officers and other ranks and (5) the number of such proceedings on hands not disposed of as at 30 September and the number of these over three months; and, having regard to the Gleeson report comments on this issue, if he will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Defence (Mr. Daly): Section 114 of the Defence Act, 1954 provides for a redress of wrongs system for every member of the Defence Forces who thinks himself wronged in any matter.

In the case of an officer who thinks himself wronged he may complain to his commanding officer and if he is dissatisfied with the response of his commanding officer he may complain to the Minister.

In the case of an non-commissioned officer or private who thinks himself wronged he may complain in the first instance to his company commander. If he is dissatisfied with the response of his company commander he may complain to his commanding officer. If he is dissatisfied with his response he may complain to the adjutant general who, if so required by the NCO or private concerned, shall report on the matter to the Minister.

There were six applications awaiting decision on 30 September 1991.

[2306] I am at present reviewing the procedures dealing with redress of wrongs. It will, of course, be necessary to discuss any changes with the representative associations and I anticipate that such discussions will commence shortly.

It would not be possible without disproportionate effort to ascertain the rest of the information sought by the Deputy. However, the average number of applications for redress of wrongs submitted since 1985 was 36 per year.