Dún Uí Neill Army Barracks

‘Of course nobody is happy with any closure in our area and my preferred option would be to keep our Army Barracks open however, there are a number of points that need to be made about this issue.

Of the 120 military personnel currently attached to Cavan Barracks some would move to Athlone while others would move to Dundalk. Soldiers resident in the East Cavan area may seek to go to the Dundalk Barracks. Transport will be provided to the new locations on a daily basis. A travel allowance may be paid. For those who do choose to leave Cavan (we hope that number would be minimal) there will be a moving allowance.

Immediately upon closure other Government Departments and local agencies will be offered the opportunity to acquire/purchase the Barracks and grounds. This would ensure a restoration of economic activity and occupancy at once. This would happen quickly.
Every report on the Defence Forces over recent years has asserted that the Army is too spread out for effective training. Senior management within the Defence Forces are advocating closure of Barracks’, including Cavan. The future of Cavan Barracks was being similarly reviewed by the last Minister. That was on foot of two previous rounds of closures which included Castleblaney and Monaghan. The policy of Defence Force management and the Peace Dividend are combining to make the case for the closure of Cavan.

This Government was elected to sort out the financial mess that our country is in. A key step towards that is a Budget with a deficit reduction of around €3.6 billion. To do that each Department must affect savings. In the case of Defence, that saving must be in the region of €20 to €30 million. To maintain the current troop numbers, closure of Barracks’ is an unavoidable part. We would be letting down the people of our country if we don’t take what are painful and difficult decisions in their best interests.

I have met with a number of the families who are to be affected by the threatened closure. I genuinely understand their concerns, admire the service that they have given our country and believe that they must be treated with absolute respect and fairness by Government and Senior Management. They can be assured that I will work around the clock with them and Minister Shatter to achieve this.

Senator Joe O'Reilly representing Cavan & Monaghan 2010. | An ExSite website