An Ennis-based former soldier insists nothing has changed in the past 40 years, in terms of pay inequality for those in the Defence Forces.
It comes as figures released by Fianna Fáil have shown that Gardaí were paid up to 50 times the earnings of Defence Force members for covering the same events during Donald Trump’s visit to Doonbeg last week.
Donald Trump’s visit to Doonbeg last week saw a €10 million security operation rolled out here, with all hands on deck for the duration.
Now, figures released by the government show that in some cases, Gardaí were paid over 50 times the earnings of soldiers drafted in to cover the same event.
Members of the Defence Forces earned around €20 after tax for a security duty allowance for a shift of less than 24 hours, increasing to around €47 for a 24-hour shift.
Gardaí, meanwhile, are said to have earned up to €1,000 for the same duties.
A lengthy debate in the Dáil after the release of the figures has seen Clare’s Independent TD Dr Michael Harty claiming it goes beyond just pay too.
He says Defence Force members were subject to sub par conditions during Trump’s Clare visit.
Pat Scully from Ennis served as quartermaster with the Irish Army from 1970 to 1979 – he says in the 40 years since he was a serving soldier, nothing has changed.
Meanwhile, PDFORRA, the union representing Defence Force members, has long been campaigning for better pay and conditions for the Irish Army.
General Secretary Gerard Guinan says their primary concern is how it’s impacting on their ability to recruit and retain new members.