The government has announced plans to sever the last links with the Defence forces in Clonmel as they now propose to remove the Reserve Defence Forces base from Clonmel, having closed Kickham Barracks last year, according to South Tipperary Independent TD Mattie McGrath.
The Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Alan Shatter TD announced this week that the Reserve Defence Force post will not be retained in Clonmel following a Value for Money Review of the RDF.
Deputy McGrath claimed that the base is being removed from Clonmel while it is being kept in much smaller towns such as Castlebar, the Taoiseach’s home town and said that questions must be raised as to why Clonmel has been ignored.
“This Government has once again ignored Clonmel and the rich Military history that the town has, not to mention the volunteers based in Clonmel who will now be expected to travel to Cork if they wish to continue their training” said McGrath
“It is a total insult to these volunteers who give so much of their time to the Defence Forces. It will discourage people from either getting involved or staying involved with the FCA as people simply won’t have the time or resources to travel to Cork for weekly training.”
Deputy McGrath continued to state that Clonmel has a perfectly suitable base for the RDF in the former Kickham Barracks site and with the Governments plans to re-locate Clonmel Garda Station and other organisations to that site.
“It would make perfect sense to retain the Reserve Defence Forces base on the Kickham Barracks site in Clonmel and at least retain some of the Military history in Clonmel” said McGrath.
“The Defence Forces have been a huge part of life in Clonmel and surrounding areas, but this Government seems intent on deleting that tradition, ignoring the town and ignoring the volunteers who give their time and dedication so freely to the reserve defence forces.”