Welcome

Welcome to the Website of the Association of Retired Commissioned Officers (ARCO). ARCO was founded in 1993 and our purpose is to represent retired officers of the Permanent Defence Force of Ireland. We have some 800 members. Our main focus has always been on pension issues and our website enables us to provide members with information on this, along with details on a broad range of issues and events. To communicate effectively with our members we also publish two Newsletters every year, hold an Annual General Meeting in October and have developed a Texting Service.

To be successful, ARCO needs a continuous flow of new members and we urge serving officers, who are about to retire from the Permanent Defence Force, to join. ARCO will provide you with a continuity of representation and information into the future.

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Retirement Lunches

The following are details of upcoming lunches to mark the retirement of two officers of Óglaigh na hÉireann. Members of ARCO may wish to attend the lunches or forward best wishes. Please note that subscriptions will not be sought as part of these functions. The lunches, however, must be booked in advance with the respective Offices’ Mess and members should arrange to discharge the cost of their lunch with the Mess concerned.

Colonel Brendan McAndrew. A lunch will be held on Thursday, 14 September 2017 to mark the retirement, after 41 years’ service, of Colonel Brendan McAndrew of the Infantry Corps. The lunch will take place at 1330hrs for 1400hrs in the Officers’ Mess, Cathal Brugha Barracks, Dublin. Those wishing to attend the lunch should notify the Mess Secretary at patrickt.ryan@defenceforces.ie or the Mess Sgt at maitiu.oaimhirnghin@defenceforces.ie 01 8046460 or 01 8046355, NLT 1630hrs on Friday, 08 September 2017.

Lieutenant Colonel Ollie Barbour. A lunch will be held on Friday, 29 September 2017 to mark the retirement, after 44 years’ service, of Lieutenant Colonel Ollie Barbour of the Cavalry Corps. The lunch will take place at 1330hrs for 1400hrs in the Officers’ Mess, McKee Barracks, Dublin. Those wishing to attend the lunch should notify the Mess Secretary at angela.lyons@defenceforces.ie or the Mess Sgt at pat.golding@defenceforces.ie officersmessmckee@defenceforces.ie 01 8046194 NLT 1630hrs on Friday, 22 September 2017.

Category: Retirements | Tags:

Understanding the Pension Schemes

ARCO’s Strategy on Pension Related Issues includes relative information on the pension schemes for retired commissioned officers of the Permanent Defence Force.

The Representative Association of Commissioned Officers has kindly provided permission to post its information booklets which provide general information on the four pension schemes that have evolved.

The booklets, prepared by Colonel Brian O’Keeffe (Retd) former General-Secretary of RACO and commissioned by the Irish Pensions and Finance, may be accessed through the following links:

 

Category: Pensions | Tags:

Submissions by ARCO to Government Ministers on Pension Issues

Having already made a comprehensive submission to the Public Service Pay Commission on 03 April, and having published its Strategy on Pension Related Issues on this website, the EXCOM of ARCO made submissions to the:

Minister of State with Responsibility for Defence and the

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform,

on 04 May 2017, in which it took the opportunity to advance its position on the following pension related matters:

  • the valuation of public servants’ pensions,
  • the process of pension restoration under FEMPI,
  • the mechanisms associated with pension abatement,
  • the determination of pension increases, and
  • access to an independent third party mechanism for pension related issues.

These additional submissions may be accessed by clicking on the respective Minister’s titles above. Again, the EXCOM welcomes feedback on these documents.

Category: Pensions | Tags: ,

ARCO’s Strategy on Pension Related Issues – May 2017

The Public Service Pay Commission is expected to submit its report to Government in May 2017. Talks on public service pay will follow. In parallel, the Government will focus on significant pension reform for State employees. A commitment to reverse the public service pension deductions by 2021 is provided for in the Programme for a Partnership Government. In the interim, corrections in pensions are reflected in the amelioration process on 01 January 2016, 01 January 2017, and 01 January 2018. Beyond the process of pension restoration and pay negotiations, it is likely the Government will further address the adjustment of the value of public service pensions by means of pay or other linkages.

During active service and in retirement, ARCO’s membership made a significant financial contribution in the delivery of unprecedented savings across the public service. In the current financial climate, 2021 as a possible date for the full restoration of pensions is unwarranted and unfair. The value of pensions should be protected, and an appropriate independent third party mechanism is necessary to address pension anomalies and entitlements.

In this context, the EXCOM has developed a comprehensive Strategy on pension related issues. The Strategy provides relevant information, outlines ARCO’s position on specific subjects and prescribes the associated implementation process. The objective is to inform ARCO’s membership on evolving pension issues and to provide the EXCOM with material for use in submissions to external stakeholders.

Subjects addressed include: Valuation of Public Service Pensions, Pension Restoration, Pension Abatement, Provision for Pension Increases, and Independent Third Party Mechanism.

Each section contains relevant information, statistics, and constructive analysis. Within key sections, both the Government’s position and ARCO’s approach to address specific issues are outlined. For ease of reference, ARCO’s position on all issues is consolidated in Annex ‘A’. Annex ‘B’ provides an Aide Memoire (TACAID) of key lobbying issues.

Availing of the information contained within the Implementation Section and Annex B, members are encouraged to be actively engaged in the lobbying process. Feedback on the Strategy will be welcomed by the EXCOM.

Following on from its submission to the Pay Commission, the EXCOM made submissions to the Minister of State with Responsibility for Defence and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform on 04 May 2017. These additional submissions will be posted on the website, in due course.

Link to Strategy

Category: Pensions | Tags: ,

Submission to the Public Service Pay Commission

Public Service Pay Commission. On 18 October 2016, the Government approved the establishment of an independent Public Service Pay Commission to advise it on public service pay. The Commission will shortly provide an initial report to Government on public service remuneration in the context of the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Acts 2009 – 2015. In its findings the Commission will take account of the superannuation and other benefits that apply in the public service and will consider the issue of public service pensions in the context of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform’s pension evaluation. The inclusion of the value of Public Service Pensions in the determination of the Commission’s findings will have major implications for future levels of pay in the Public Service and will impact significantly on how pensions are calculated.

ARCO’s Submission. On 03 April 2017, ARCO made a substantial submission to the Commission, advancing its concerns on the mechanism used for calculating the value of public service pensions and conveying the Association’s position on the process of pension restoration under FEMPI. ARCO’s submission also addressed the determination of pension increases, existing pension anomalies, and access to an independent third party mechanism by retired public servants. The EXCOM welcomes feedback on the submitted document.

LINK to ARCO’s submission

PENSIONS

On 03 April, ARCO made a formal submission to the Public Service Pay Commission on pension related issues. A STRATEGY ON PENSION RELATED ISSUES, drafted by a Working Group, will be presented for approval by the EXCOM on 21 April. Subsequently, the Strategy will be made available to the membership by means of the Association’s website. In the interim, the Alliance of Retired Public Servants has circulated a Toolkit as a guidance document in lobbying politicians on key issues such as the restoration of pensions.

At both national and local level, the lobbying process will target political stakeholders, especially Government Ministers, their respective advisors, and members of the Oireachtas, Councils and County Councils. 

Link to Alliance’s Lobbying Toolkit.

Category: Pensions | Tags:

Retirement Lunches

The following are details of upcoming lunches to mark the retirement of three officers of Óglaigh na hÉireann. Members of ARCO may wish to attend the lunches or forward best wishes. Please note that subscriptions will not be sought as part of these functions. The lunches, however, must be booked in advance with the respective Offices’ Mess and members should arrange to discharge the cost of their lunch with the Mess concerned.

Colonel Brian Dowling. A lunch will be held on Wednesday, 15 March, 2017 to mark the retirement, after 47 years’ service, of Colonel Brian Dowling, the former Director of Ordnance. The lunch will take place at 1330hrs for 1400hrs in the Officers’ Mess, Ceannt Barracks, Defence Forces Training Centre, Curragh.  Those wishing to attend the lunch should notify Captain Eddie Mac Sweeney, the Mess Secretary at eddie.macsweeney@defenceforces.ie, 045 445006 or 045 445061, NLT 1630hrs on Thursday, 9 March, 2017.

Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy O’Neill. A lunch will be held on Thursday, 16 March, 2017 to mark the retirement, after 47 years’ service, of Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy O’Neill of the Ordnance Corps. The lunch will take place at 1300hrs for 1330hrs in the Officers’ Mess Cathal Brugha Barracks, Dublin. Those wishing to attend the lunch should notify the Mess Secretary at patrickt.ryan@defenceforces.ie or the Mess Sgt at maitiu.oaimhirnghin@defenceforces.ie 01 8046460 or 01 8046355, NLT 1630hrs on Monday, 13 March, 2017.  

Colonel Conor Fitzsimons. A lunch will be held on Thursday, 30 March, 2017 to mark the retirement, after 42 years’ service, of Colonel Conor Fitzsimons of the Artillery Corps. The lunch will take place at 1330hrs for 1400hrs in the Officers’ Mess, McKee Barracks, Dublin. Those wishing to attend the lunch should notify the Mess Secretary at angela.lyons@defenceforces.ie, 01 8046194 or Captain Barry Jones, Liaison Officer at barry.jones@defenceforces.ie, 01 8046885, NLT 1630hrs on Friday, 24 March 2017.

Category: Events, Retirements | Tags:

Report – ARCO Wreath Laying Ceremony

A great turnout of members on Friday, 7th October, 2016 for the Wreath laying Ceremony in the Garden of Remembrance. The following is a link to the Irish Times report of the event: http://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/defence-forces-rescue-of-migrants-praised-at-1916-commemoration-ceremony-1.2823580

Category: News | Tags:

The Irish Military College, 1930 – 2000

 

On 15 September, Mr Paul Kehoe TD, Minister responsible for Defence, launched The College: The Irish Military College, 1930 – 2000, by Colonel Tom Hodson, in Collins Barracks Dublin.

Since its establishment in 1930, the Irish Military College has had a vital influence, not only on the Defence Forces, but on the nation itself.  In his book Colonel Hodson, a former instructor in the Military College and a graduate of École de Guerre, Paris, recounts how from its early predecessor, the Army School of Instruction, the Military College has repeatedly re-invented itself, culminating in the requirement for this modern institution to embrace and impart instruction based on the needs of today’s Irish Defence Forces.

The College is published by the History Press Ireland and is available from bookshops and online at: http://www.thehistorypress.ie/The-College__p-708.aspx

Category: Events | Tags: ,

ARCO Wreath Laying Ceremony – 7 October, 2016

ARCO WREATH LAYING CEREMONY

GARDEN OF REMEMBRANCE – FRIDAY, 7 0CTOBER 2016

Introduction

The Association of Retired Commissioned Officers (ARCO) will conduct a formal and solemn Wreath Laying Ceremony in the Garden of Remembrance on Friday, 7 October 2016, commencing at 1200hrs.

The ceremony will remember, honour and commemorate the participants in the 1916 Easter Rising and will also recall the involvement of ARCO members who participated in the commemorations marking the 50th Anniversary of the Rising in 1966. The 39th and 40th Cadet Classes marched in the Easter Parade on 10 April 1966 and the 39th Cadet Class provided the Guard of Honour at the dedication of the Garden of Remembrance on Easter Monday, 11 April 1966.

Ceremony and Reception

The Ceremony will incorporate appropriate prayers, reflections and music. After the solemn laying of a wreath by ARCO’s President, Commander Gerard O’Flynn (Retd), a minute of silent reflection will be observed, which will be followed by a Piper’s Lament, the rendering of the Last Post, the raising of the Irish Flag to full mast, the rendering of Reveille and the playing of the National Anthem. 

The expected duration of the Ceremony is 30 minutes.

A reception for all guests, participants and attendees will take place immediately afterwards in the Gresham Hotel, O’Connell Street.

Invitations and Attendance

The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Representatives of the Government, Oireachtas, Defence Spokespersons and Defence Forces, along with representatives of kindred organisations, will be formally invited to the ceremony.  

The main cohort of attendees, however, will be drawn from the ARCO membership – including members of the 39th and 40th Cadet Classes & Class Officers who paraded in April 1966.

General Invitation to ARCO Membership

ARCO members, along with their families and friends, are invited and encouraged to attend. Members should indicate their intention to attend, by Friday, 23 September 2016 please, through the following means:

 

General Matters

All attendees are requested to be seated by 1140hrs to facilitate the arrival of dignitaries between 1145hrs and 1150hrs.

Dress is Informal with Medals. Should adverse weather require the wearing of overcoats, medals should not be worn on the outer garment. As this is an outdoor event you are advised to come well prepared for all weather conditions.  

Dedicated car-parking is not available at the Garden of Remembrance for private vehicles. A set-down facility will be available at Parnell Square North, which will also be the location of the ambulance station. Entrance to the ceremony is through the Parnell Square North gate (opposite the Hugh Lane Gallery) which leads directly to the upper level plinth. This is where seating will be provided for attendees in the designated area left and right of the Children of Lir Sculpture.

As this is a national event, organised by ARCO for its members, it is important that we have an appropriate turnout on the day. We therefore look forward to seeing many old friends and comrades in the Garden of Remembrance on Friday, 7 October 2016.

Category: Events | Tags: ,
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