Category Archives: News

O.N.E. – Sleeping Flags Appeal

On Monday, 11 February, the Organisation of National Ex-Service Personnel – Óglaigh Náisiúnta na hÉireann) formally launched its Sleeping Flags Appeal, in order to raise public awareness and aid for the homeless Irish Defence Forces veterans. 

The associated campaign involves veterans, in specially-created Tricolour sleeping bags, deployed around the streets of Dublin.

Dubbed ‘Sleeping Flags’, the symbolic act, which challenges protocols around the treatment and representation of the Irish flag, represents both the homeless veterans who died on Dublin’s streets, which was the catalyst for O.N.E. to establish its first homeless hostel, and the reality facing current and future veterans if the charity is unable to keep its doors open.

To date, O.N.E. has helped hundreds of homeless male and female Defence Forces veterans who have served abroad in conflict zones including The Congo, Lebanon, Syria and the Mediterranean, or at home during The Troubles.  Many come to O.N.E. with depression, disabilities, PTSD, or having suffered family breakdowns, with little support to call on.

Speaking at the launch of the campaign Ollie O’Connor, CEO of O.N.E. stated “Our first homeless hostel opened in direct response to a number of veterans dying on the streets of Dublin.  Since then, we’ve helped over 900 homeless veterans from all over Ireland who could have faced the same situation. These Sleeping Flags are bags we never wanted to make, but if we can’t get enough funding, our veterans will end up back on the streets”.

Set against Ireland’s current homelessness crisis, the preventive services O.N.E. offer are more vital than ever, providing over 16,000 bed nights every year, between Dublin, Letterkenny and Athlone, and with 95% of the veterans they help moving on to permanent housing.

The men and women we’re helping have a special affinity with the Tricolour.  These are fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters and our next door neighbours who joined the Irish Defence Forces to serve their country. When they joined up, they were young fit men and women. They didn’t put up their hands to become homeless veterans.”

For more information on the Sleeping Flags Appeal, or to make a donation to O.N.E. please visit https://sleepingflags.ie/

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ARCO Information Brief – Citizenship of children born abroad to officers serving on official duty overseas

A person is an Irish citizen where they were born abroad to an Irish citizen parent. This is the situation that gives Irish citizenship to those children born abroad to Irish Defence Forces officers on duty overseas.

In circumstances where the parent is also born outside the island of Ireland (e.g. a child born abroad to an officer on duty overseas), then as a consequence of various changes to and revision of legislation, a range of administrative issues arise when an Irish passport is being sought for that parent’s children (i.e. officers’ grandchildren). These issues are outlined and discussed in the following ARCO Information Brief.

In the light of the recent experience of an ARCO member, ARCO strongly recommends that officers, with children born abroad while the officer served on official duty overseas, make themselves aware of the prevailing legislative administrative procedures regarding overseas births.

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PAYE Modernisation Documents

On 29 November, ARCO attended a Revenue Commissioner’s presentation in the Department of Defence, on the new PAYE Modernisation process, which came into effect on 01 January 2019. A document titled PAYE Modernisation was circulated.

The Department of Defence has provided ARCO with an information brief circulated by the National Shared Services Office, titled PAYE Modernisation – Notes for Employees, which may be of some relevance to ARCO’s membership.

Further information on PAYE Modernisation is available on the Revenue website.

Category: News, Pensions | 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: ,

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.

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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.

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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:

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 relate@ciboard.ie including your name.

LOG ON: www.citizensinformation.ie

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

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

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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 (larjoye@gmail.com) (086 8605678), of their intention to attend both the AGM and Lunch. 

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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: ,
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