Blog Archives

Col. Jim Mortell RIP

ARCO regrets to inform its members of the death of Colonel James (Jim) Mortell of Stamullen, County Meath and late of Charleville, County Cork. On 13 November 2018, peacefully, in the care of St Gladys’ Nursing Home, Harold’s Cross. Beloved father of the late Erika. Very sadly missed by his loving family, sons David and Alan and their mother Jennifer, daughters-in-law Yukie and Eimear, adored grandchildren Amélie and Will, brothers Michael, Philip and Brendan, relatives and a wide circle of Defence Forces colleagues and friends.

Jim was a member of 33 Cadet Class 1959-60 and was posted to Collins Barracks, Dublin on commissioning. There he began a lifelong association with Eastern Command and Defence Forces Headquarters. He was the lieutenant in charge of the flag ceremony in that barracks for the specially filmed version of the National Anthem broadcast on the opening night of Telefís Éireann on 31 December 1961. This was subsequently broadcast at the closedown of each day’s transmission until 1966.

He served overseas with the United Nations in the Congo as Platoon Commander A Company 39 Infantry Battalion in 1963, as the Assistant Operations Officer 9 Infantry Group UNFICYP in Cyprus in 1967-1968, with UNTSO in 1973 during the Yom Kippur War, with OSCE in Vienna and with UNIKOM in Kuwait. He was a member of the eight officer Defence Forces reconnaissance party that visited Lebanon in preparation for Ireland’s deployment to UNIFIL in May 1978 and subsequently served there with 64 Infantry Battalion.

At home he was Officer Commanding 27 Infantry Battalion, 8 Infantry Battalion FCA and served as a Staff Officer with Eastern Command Infantry Force, thus maintaining strong links with the North-Eastern area of the Eastern Command. He was the first School Commandant of the United Nations Training School Ireland when it was established 25 years ago. An accomplished and pragmatic administrator, his was the advice that was sought by all when he served in ‘A’ Administration Section of the Adjutant General’s Branch.  It was given willingly, was always relevant, and placed the welfare of the soldier at its centre

May he Rest in Peace

Reposing at Fanagan’s Funeral Home, Lower Kimmage Road on Friday afternoon (16 November) from 3.30 pm to 5.30 pm (with prayers at 5.15 pm). Removal on Saturday morning (17 November) to St Mary’s Church, Julianstown, County Meath arriving for Funeral Mass at 11 am and afterwards to Moorechurch Cemetery.

Category: Death Notices | Tags: ,

Redesigned Website – Department of Defence

Since October 2015, all Defence Forces pensions from the Department of Defence are paid by the Payroll Shared Service Centre (PSSC).  The PSSC is responsible for processing monthly pensions and for making all statutory and voluntary deductions.

Under the tab “What We Do”, the recently redesigned Department of Defence website includes information on pension issues such as:

  • Occupational Pension Benefits including
    • Internal Dispute Resolution Procedure for the Defence Forces Pensions Schemes (August 2018),
    • Limited appeals process for Spouses and Children’s Scheme membership options,
  • Disability Pension Benefits
  • Personal Injuries Compensation Scheme for Personnel of the Reserve Defence Force
  • Defence Forces Superannuation Schemes, Annual Report 2017.

Queries on Defence Forces pensions should, in the first instance be referred to:

  • PSSC Helpdesk, Payroll Shared Service Centre, Áras an tSáile, Renmore, Galway, H91 AN2E.
  • Telephone: 076 1002 702.
  • Email militarypensions@pssc.gov.ie.

Queries on Defence Forces pension terms or entitlements should in the first instance, be referred to:

  • Pensions Administration Section, Finance Branch, Department of Defence, Áras an tSáile, Renmore, Galway, H91 AN2E.
  • Telephone: 091 743 900, or Lo-Call 1890-426444 (extension 3900).
  • Email admin@defence.ie

While we are on the subject of pensions, the following is a link to Circular 02/2018, issued to all Government Departments and Public Service Employers by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, which lays down pension increase policy in the public service until the end of 2020. We are also including a link to the Memorandum on the subject issued by Finance Branch of the Department of Defence.

Category: News, Pensions | Tags: ,

Retirement – Maj Gen Mick Beary

Major General Mick Beary retired recently from the Defence Forces after almost 45 years service. During his career he served in a wide variety of units and appointments.

At home these included: School Commandant of the Command and Staff School, Director of Training, Commandant of the Military College and General Officer Commanding 2 Brigade.

His overseas service included: Company Commander A Company 76 Infantry Battalion UNIFIL, Office of the Chief of Staff UNPROFOR, Intelligence Branch UNIKOM, Operations Section ISAF, Intelligence Branch EUMS, Mission Commander EU Training Mission Somalia, and Head of Mission and Force Commander UNIFIL.

As a mark of appreciation to Major General Beary, and in recognition of his long and distinguished service, it is proposed to hold a retirement function at 1600hrs on Thursday 15 November 2018 in Cathal Brugha Barracks Officers’ Mess, Rathmines, Dublin.

Mick’s many friends in ARCO who wish to attend the function, or to send messages, should notify the Mess Secretary or Mess Sergeant, Cathal Brugha Barracks Officers Mess via email at: shane.heffernan@defenceforces.ie or phone via: 01 8046460 or 01 8046355, not later than 1630hrs on Friday 09 November 2018.

Category: Retirements | Tags: ,

Defence Forces Bridge Competition

Category: Events | Tags:

Statement from ARCO

Statement of Concern from the Association of Retired Commissioned Officers (ARCO) on the serious deterioration of conditions of service and the depletion of strategic defence capabilities in the Defence Forces.

The Association of Retired Commissioned Officers feels obliged to express its deep concern at the progressive deterioration of the conditions of service of members of the Defence Forces, and its dramatic impact on depleting the strategic capabilities required to deliver the Government’s taskings, in the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service.

The Permanent Defence Force is currently struggling to cope with the continuous exodus of trained and experienced personnel of all ranks. The resulting depletion of leadership echelons and corporate military knowledge, is leading to a further strategic deterioration of defence capabilities, caused by the inability to retain personnel across all ranks having the necessary skills and competencies, and the challenges encountered with attracting appropriate personnel to the Defence Forces.

It is regrettable that the loyalty, commitment, contribution and immense personal sacrifices made by personnel in implementing the strategic downsizing and reorganization of the Defence Forces, is undermined and negated by the lack of meaningful Government action in providing appropriate remuneration and enduring conditions of service for personnel of Óglaigh na hÉireann.

For many who served in the years that led to the establishment of the Gleeson Commission, it is extraordinary that we are witnessing a return to a similar set of circumstances by way of active protest undertaken by retired personnel, and the families of serving personnel, highlighting unsatisfactory Defence Forces remuneration and conditions of service.

ARCO calls on the Government to ensure there is a meaningful engagement between the Department of Defence, the Military Authorities and Representative Associations to identify and develop policies that will address, without delay, the serious retention and remuneration issues that are undermining the Defence Forces operational readiness, coupled with the morale and well-being of its personnel.

Category: News | Tags:

ARCO 24th Annual General Meeting

NOTICE TO MEMBERS

ASSOCIATION OF RETIRED COMMISSIONED OFFICERS
24th Annual General Meeting – McKee Barracks
1130hrs, Friday, 05 October 2018

AGENDA:

  • Opening Address by President, ARCO
  • Minutes of 23rd AGM – 06 October 2017
  • President’s Report
  • Report of the Hon. Secretary
  • Report of the Hon. Treasurer to include audited accounts
  • Report of the Hon. Membership Secretary
  • Appointment of Auditor
  • Elections to Executive Committee
  • Any Other Business

 

Lt Col Joe Ahern (Retd)
Honorary Secretary
ARCO

It is important that members notify their intention to attend in advance to the Honorary Secretary not later than Monday 01 October 2018 as failure to do so may cause security difficulties at the point of entry to McKee Barracks. Don’t forget to bring your I.D. card to facilitate your entry into Barracks.

Coffee will be available in the Officers Mess from 1030hrs and the Meeting will take place in the auditorium of the Defence Forces School of Catering at 1130hrs.

A light lunch with wine (gratis) will be served after the meeting. Those wishing to partake of lunch must also notify this to the Honorary Secretary by Monday 01 October 2018.

Apologies from those unable to attend may be conveyed to the Honorary Secretary and will be read out on the day.

 

Category: AGM | Tags:

Presentation of DSM – Maj. Gen. Michael Beary

Members of ARCO will be aware that Major General Michael Beary has handed over command of the United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon (UNIFIL) and will retire shortly from the Defence Forces.

On Tuesday 4th September 2018, at 1600 hours, Major General Beary will be presented with the Distinguished Service Medal by the Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Mr. Paul Kehoe TD, at a ceremony in Cathal Brugha Barracks, Dublin. A reception for guests will be held after the ceremony.

Many of Major General Beary’s colleagues and friends in ARCO will wish to accept the Minister’s invitation to attend the ceremony.  If you are attending, please reply to ceremonial@defenceforces.ie

Category: Uncategorized

ARCO Data Protection & Privacy Policy

The Association of Retired Commissioned Officers Data Protection & Privacy Policy protects the rights, privacy and personal data of individuals in accordance with the Data Protection Acts, 1988 – 2003, and the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GPDR), effective from 25th of May 2018.

ARCO’s Data Protection & Privacy Policy, adopted by the Executive Committee on 20 July, can be accessed HERE. Hard copies are available on request.

Members of ARCO may wish to note that some or all of the following personal data, provided voluntarily on your membership application, is currently held by ARCO: Name, Rank, Service Number, Pension Number, Address, Spouse’s Name, Corps/Staff/Unit on Retirement, Year Retired, Home Phone Number, Mobile Phone Number, Email Address and signed authorisation for deduction of ARCO Annual Subscription from your Defence Forces Pension.

Category: News | Tags:

ONE’s Fuchsia Appeal

The Fuchsia Appeal runs annually to raise funds for ONE’s charitable endeavours, namely the provision of accommodation and other assistance to ex-service personnel in need.

The following is a LINK to an article on ONE Homes in the digital edition of the Irish Times.

Although the main drive of the appeal takes place during the month of July, which is the month of the National Day of Commemoration, donations are welcome at any time and may be made at www.oneconnect.ie

The Fuchsia was chosen as a symbol as it is widely grown throughout Ireland and is commonly known as Deora Dé or God’s Tears in the West of Ireland. It is also a fundraising emblem, a badge of remembrance and a symbol of honour to those currently serving in the Defence Forces.

Category: Events, News | Tags:

2018 Defence Forces Veterans Day

The Executive Committee of ARCO has accepted an invitation on behalf of its members from the Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces, Vice Admiral Mark Mellett DSM, to attend the 2018 Defence Forces Veterans Day.  This will be held in Collins Barracks, Benburb Street, Dublin 7 on Sunday, 13th May at 1200 hours.

A representative group from each of the three national organisations (ARCO, ONET and IUNVA) will parade on Clarke Square to be reviewed by the Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Mr. Paul Kehoe, TD.

Light refreshments will be available in Collins Barracks before the ceremony, which is open to all veterans and to their families. A post-event reception will be hosted in McKee Barracks Dining Centre.

The Executive Committee encourages ARCO members to attend this event and to wear their medals.

Members are requested to participate in the ceremony and are asked to report to Clarke Square by 1100 hours.

Members who are not parading for the ceremony should be seated by 1140 hours.

Category: Events | Tags: ,
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