Blog Archives

Four Colonels and a Retirement Celebration

Colonel Tom Ahern, Colonel Peter Marron, Colonel Brian Monahan and Colonel Eugene Smyth, all members of the 52 Cadet Class, joined the Defence Forces in November 1975. They retire during the months of February and March 2018 having each completed over 42 years’ service.

As a mark of appreciation, and in recognition of their long and distinguished service, a retirement celebration buffet lunch will be held at 1500hrs for 1600hrs on Friday 06 April 2018 in the Officers’ Mess, Cathal Brugha Barracks, Rathmines, Dublin.

Members of ARCO who wish to attend, or send messages, should notify the Mess Secretary or Mess Sergeant, Officers’ Mess, Cathal Brugha Barracks via email at: or phone via Extn 6460/6355, not later than 1630hrs on Wednesday 28 March 2018.

Category: Retirements | Tags: ,

Brig. Gen. Tom Quinlan DSM RIP

ARCO regrets to inform its members of the death of Brigadier General Thomas (Tom) Quinlan DSM of Terenure, Dublin City, and formerly of Colligan, Dungarvan, County Waterford, on Friday, 2 March 2018. Sadly missed by his sister-in-law Cait, nephews John and Tom Butler, John and Gerry Quinlan, nieces Joanne and Finola Butler, Orla and Aideen Quinlan, grand nephews, grand nieces, relations, friends and former colleagues.

Tom was a member of 27 Cadet Class (1953 to 1954). He was a Platoon Commander with A Company, 35 Infantry Battalion, ONUC at the siege of Jadotville which took place between 13 and 17 September 1961, during the United Nations intervention in Katanga. Tom later commanded his platoon for the successful action at the Old Airstrip, Elizabethville on 5 December 1961 during Operation Unokat. Both 35 and 36 Battalions were involved in Operation Unokat, which culminated with the attack by 36 Battalion on The Tunnel on 16 December 1961. While serving as a Captain with 10 Infantry Group, UNFICYP, Tom was presented with the DSM, With Distinction, on 4 June 1968 for his qualities of leadership and courage while serving with ONUC during the period September to December 1961. Five NCOs were presented with the DSM at the same parade. He commanded 45 Infantry Battalion UNIFIL, Lebanon in 1979. As Chief, Observer Group Egypt, while serving with UNTSO, Tom was on the reviewing stand in Cairo with James Tully TD, Minister for Defence, and Lieutenant General Louis Hogan, Chief of Staff, on 6 October 1981 when President Anwar Sadat was assassinated. At home Tom Quinlan served in a wide variety of appointments, including Cadet Master, and GOC Southern Command, and retired with the rank of Brigadier General.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis

Reposing at Drohan’s funeral home, Emmett Street, Dungarvan, County Waterford on Thursday, 8 March from 5pm to 7pm with removal afterwards to St. Anne’s Church, Colligan. Funeral mass at 12 noon on Friday, 9 March followed by burial in the adjoining cemetery.

Category: Death Notices | Tags: ,

Pension Reduction & Restoration – A Summary

Public Service Pension Reduction

Under the Financial Emergencies Measures in the Public Interest Act 2015 (FEMPI 2015), the Public Service Pension Reduction is being ameliorated providing for a total reduction of €1,680 in three phases for retired officers: 01 January 2016 – €400; 01 January 2017 – €500; and 01 January 2018 – €780.  The final adjustment under FEMPI 2015 will be reflected in the January 2018 payslips.

Public Service Stability Agreement 2018 – 2020

The Public Service Stability Agreement was approved by Government and ratified by the Public Service Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions. Paragraph 6.2 of the agreement prescribes that future policy on public service pensions in payment for the duration of the agreement will be guided by:

  • The need to adopt an equitable approach to the various public service pensioner cohorts who are now not only differentiated by amount of pension in payment (determined by grade and service) as heretofore but also by date of retirement (in particular pre and post end-February 2012).
  • Accordingly, for those who retired or will retire post end-February 2012, to the extent that they retired on reduced salaries, they will receive pension increases in line with the pay increases due to their peers currently in employment under the terms of this Agreement.
  • When alignment is achieved between pre and post end-February 2012 pensioners, as will happen progressively for salary pay ranges up to €70,000 by 2020 under this Agreement, pay increases will continue to benefit pensions in payment for the duration of this Agreement.


Public Service Pay and Pensions Bill 2017


On 09 November, the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, T.D.  secured Government approval for the publication of the Public Service Pay and Pensions Bill 2017.  

The Public Service Pay and Pensions Act 2017, (Number 34 of 2017), was enacted on 16 December.   The Act provides legal basis for the provisions of the Public Service Stability Agreement 2018 – 2020, which was approved by Government in June, and was ratified by the Public Services Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions in September.

Pension Restoration

Regarding pensions, part three of the Public Service Pay and Pensions Act 2017 provides for a further substantial lessening of the impact of the Public Service Pension Reduction (PSPR) on public service pensions in 2019 and 2020, with a provision to provide for the elimination of the remaining impact of the measure by Statutory Order to be made by 31 December 2020.

The Act provides for the lessening of the PSPR for both pre- and post-March 2012 retirees.

From 01 January 2019, retired officers in receipt of pensions up to €39,000 will be exempt PSPR, and from 01 January 2020 the figure increases to €54,000.

Officers who retired on or before 29 February 2012 had their pension calculated by reference to their ‘pre-cut’ salary. Officers who retired after that date had their pension calculated on their (lower) salary at January 2010.  Because of the difference in salary, different rates of PSPR were applied to these cohorts.

For the pre-2012 cohort, the following table applies:

Annualised Pension (2019) Annualised Pension (2020) Reduction
Up to €39,000 Up to €54,000 Exempt
€39,000 – €60,000 €54,000 – €60,000 12 per cent
€60,000 – €100,000 €60,000 – €100,000 17 per cent
Over €100,000 Over €100,000 28 per cent


For the post-2012 cohort, the following table applies:

Annualised Pension Reduction (2019)  Reduction (2020)
Up to €60,000 Exempt  Exempt
€60,000 – €100,000 3 per cent  1 per cent
Over €100,000 8 per cent  6 per cent


Consistent with PSPR application to date, the band-specific percentage reduction rates above apply to the relevant slices of an affected pension; they do not apply to the entire pension.

The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform is required to make a Statutory Order by 31 December 2020, which provides for a date by which any remaining PSPR impact will cease to apply.

Pay Increases

Pay increases since 2016 to end-2020 will be passed along to pensioners whose pensions were based on lower salary levels than are paid to pensioners who retire after each increase.

For post-March 2012 retirees, all pay increases since 2016 will be passed along.

For pre-March 2012 retirees, pensions based on (pre-cut) salaries of over €70,000 will not receive any parity increases.  For this cohort on (pre-cut) salaries of less than €70,000, pensioners will benefit where the PSSA increases result in the current salary exceeding its pre-FEMPI peak.

These increases will be applied in addition to the lessening of PSPR as outlined above.

ARCO’s Strategy – Pension Related Issues

Members are encouraged to peruse ARCO’s Strategy, ARCO’s Submissions to the Pay Commission, to the Minister for State with Responsibility for Defence, and to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, and subsequent responses, all of which are posted and available on this website.

In this context, the Alliance of Retired Public Servants is continuing to pursue full restoration of all pensions to all cohorts by the end of 2019, the determination of pension increases, and access to an independent third party mechanism for pension related issues.

Category: Pensions | Tags:

CAOGA Group Life Assurance Plan – Update

Good news for members of CAOGA.

Irish Life has agreed to maintain the Benefits and Premiums of the CAOGA Group Life Assurance Plan, put in place in January 2015, for the review period beginning January 2018. This will apply across all membership and age categories.

Additionally, a new age category for those aged between 75 to 84 will be introduced soon for the Plan. This will provide members with a benefit of €9,200 for a premium of €30 per month and spouse/partners with a benefit of €5,500 for a premium of €15 per month. It will apply to members entering this age category in the future but will not be applied retrospectively. 

Further details to follow.

UPDATE – 26 January 2018

The new CAOGA Group Life Assurance Plan membership category, for those aged between 75 to 84, has been introduced from 1 January 2018.

As already advised, this will provide members with a benefit of €9,200 for a premium of €30 per month and spouse/partners with a benefit of €5,500 for a premium of €15 per month. It will apply to members entering this age category from the inception date but will not be applied retrospectively.

The intention is to continue to retain members in the scheme when they reach the age of 75, unless they opt out. CAOGA will write to its members outlining the developments in this scheme.

Category: CAOGA | Tags:

RELATE – December 2017 Edition

Relate, the journal on developments in social services, policy and legislation in Ireland, is published by the Citizens Information Board. The December 2017 issue of Relate covers some of the problems that may affect people who live in urban areas. These include boundary disputes, doing work on party structures, trees, noise and control of animals.

If you would like to receive Relate by email you can subscribe by sending an email with the subject line SUBSCRIBE to including your name.


LO_CALL: 1890 777 121 Open Mon to Fri, 9am to 9pm. 

DROP IN: For your local centre see Golden Pages listing.

Category: News | Tags:

Arty Club’s AGM & Annual Lunch

The Artillery Club’s 2017 Annual General Meeting will take place, by kind permission of the GOC 2 Brigade, in the Auditorium, School of Catering, McKee Barracks Dublin at 1130hrs, on Friday, 01 December.  Coffee will be available in the Officers’ Mess from 1030hrs.

Following the AGM, the Annual Saint Barbara’s Day Lunch will take place in the Officers’ Mess Dining Room at 1330hrs.  

Attendees are requested to notify the Club’s Secretary, Commandant Lar Joye ( (086 8605678), of their intention to attend both the AGM and Lunch. 

Category: News | Tags: ,

Christmas Package for Overseas Personnel

The opportunity has arisen for families and friends to send a Christmas package, via the internal Defence Forces’ system, to personnel currently serving overseas. If members of ARCO would like to avail of this opportunity, please contact Commandant Niall O’Donoghue at 086 8753003 who will provide full details on how to obtain the designated container and customs declaration form from the nearest military barracks.

Return of packages is requested by Wednesday, 29 November. We understand the container is relatively small – suggesting quality over quantity!

ARCO is pleased to support this initiative and wishes to extend a Peaceful and Happy Christmas to all Defence Forces personnel serving overseas and to their families and friends.

Category: News | Tags: ,

Pension Restoration – Responses from DPER

On 08 August, the Department of Public Affairs and Reform responded to ARCO’s submission dated 04 May to the Minister for Public Affairs and Reform.  Link to letter.

Following a meeting on 12 July between the Alliance of Retired Public Servants and the Minister of Public Expenditure and Reform, the Alliance received a letter from the Department on 18 August.  Link to letter.

Category: Pensions | Tags:

Defence Forces Veterans’ Day

The Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces, Vice Admiral Mark Mellett DSM, has issued an invitation to members of the Association of Retired Commissioned Officers to attend the Defence Forces Veterans’ Day, which will be held at McDermott Square, Defence Forces Training Centre, Curragh Camp on Sunday, 8th October 2017 at 1200 hours. A representative group from each of the three national organisations (ARCO, ONET and IUNVA) will march onto the square to be reviewed by the Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Mr. Paul Kehoe, TD. The parade will be followed by a Defence Forces’ equipment and capability display. Light refreshments will be available in the Dining Centre. The event is open to all veterans and to their families. The Executive Committee encourages members to attend this event and to wear their medals. Volunteers to participate in the ceremony will be sought on the day from among those members attending.  

Category: Events | Tags:

Corps Annual Dinners


The Cavalry Club Annual Dinner will be held in the Officers Mess, Cathal Brugha Barracks on Saturday, 04 November 2017 at 1900 hrs.

The Club President and Committee hope that all retired officers of the Cavalry Corps can make a special effort to attend. To make a booking please contact the Honorary Secretary, Lt Damien O’Herlihy via email on damien.o’ or or via mobile 087-6486901.



This year the Corps of Engineers Annual Dinner will take place on Thursday, 26 October 2017 at 1900 hrs. It will be hosted with the kind permission of GOC 2 Bde in the Officers Mess, McKee Barracks.

Retired officers of the Corps are invited to attend and should make contact with Captain Kevin O’Reilly at 01-8046722 or at Please pass this information to any retired officer of the Corps of Engineers you may have contact with.


Category: Events | Tags: ,