Monthly Archives: January 2020

Retirement – Brigadier General Peter O’Halloran

Brigadier General Peter O’Halloran, Assistant Chief of Staff, retires from the Defence Forces on the 6th of February 2020. During his long and distinguished career, Brigadier General O’Halloran served in a wide range of appointments, both at home and overseas.

A retirement function to mark Brigadier General O’Halloran’s retirement will be held in the Officers’ Mess, Custume Barracks, Athlone, on Thursday, 6th February 2020 at 1600hrs. His many friends and colleagues in ARCO will wish to be associated with this occasion.

Those attending are requested to notify the Mess Secretary, at 090 6421272 NLT Friday, 31st January 2020.

Military Service Allowance

Arising from the Public Sector Pay Commission, the rate of Military Service Allowance was increased w.e.f. 04 July 2019.

Following an ARCO submission, dated 30 July 2019, ARCO was advised by the Private Secretary to the Minister, in a letter dated 10 December 2019, that the MSA increase would be reflected in military pensions of personnel retiring on or after 04 July 2019.

ARCO submitted an interim response on 16 December 2019.

In the context of the wider Defence Forces Community, please find attached a covering letter with the associated annex, advancing the case that the MSA increase should be applied, as appropriate, to the military pensions of Defence Forces personnel who retired prior to 03 July 2019, and to those of eligible spouses or civil partners.  Both documents were sent through An Post to all recipients on 15 January 2020.

ARCO strongly contends that a decision not to apply the MSA increase to military pensions already in payment would be inconsistent with the Government’s stated policy to: “Support our veterans for the public service and outstanding contribution they have made to the State”.

Category: Pensions | Tags:

2020 General Election


The General Election on Saturday, 08 February provides ARCO with ample opportunities:

  • To inform election candidates of the absolute need to promote the rights, interests, quality of life, services, and welfare of retired officers, and eligible spouses or civil partners, and
  • To advocate for the Defence Forces, including its personnel, its veterans, and the families of serving personnel.


Key Lobbying Issues – Manifestos – Programme for Incoming Government

Considering ARCO’s aim and objectives, the Executive Committee will take cognisance of the Manifestos and Commitments of all Political Parties, Political Alliances, and Independents participating in this election, and, in particular, the Programme for the incoming Government.

Accordingly, during the election campaign, ARCO’s members should focus on the following issues:

  • Pensions: Repeal of FEMPI, Statutory based Pension Parity, Negotiation Rights for Pensioners, Application of Increase in MSA for Military Pensions in Payment.
  • Defence: Veterans’ Policy, Establishment of an independent, statutory based, and permanent Commission on Defence.
  • Welfare: Fair Deal, Medical Card, Household Package.


Independent Candidate – Kildare South Constituency

Commandant Cathal Berry (Retd) is running as an Independent candidate in the Kildare South Constituency.  “Defence Forces Families” is one of Cathal’s election priorities, reflecting the views of the extended Defence Forces Community, including ARCO.   As a former Defence Forces colleague, and as a member of ARCO, the Executive Committee welcomes Cathal’s decision to put himself before the electorate, and wishes him well.

In the above circumstances, in solidarity with serving personnel and their respective families, the Executive Committee recommends that ARCO’s membership actively supports, as appropriate, Cathal’s candidacy as an Independent for Dáil Éireann.

A member of the 72 Cadet Class, on commissioning in 1997, Cathal was appointed to the Infantry Corps.  His service included postings in the 5 Infantry Battalion, Cadet School, Army Ranger Wing and in the Medical Corps.  Overseas service included tours of duty in the Balkans, Lebanon and Chad.

For more information, please visit Cathal’s website:

You may download a PDF copy of this notification here.

Executive Committee – 16 January 2020

Category: News | Tags: ,

ARCO’s Submission – National Security Strategy

Under the auspices of the National Security Analysis Centre, the Government is proposing to develop a National Security Strategy.  A public consultation process took place from 05 December through 31 December,

ARCO made a formal submission to the Department of An Taoiseach on 28 December, which is attached along with the covering letter

Whereas a wide range of security issues falling under the domain of defence are discussed in ARCO’s submission, the format follows the order of the four questions circulated by the National Security Analysis Centre on 05 December:

  • Principle Threats (Risks) to Ireland’s National Security,
  • National Security Strategic Goals (Objectives),
  • Relevance of Traditional National Security Policies and Approaches, and
  • Required Strategic Capabilities Approaches (Means).

Defence Forces Year in Review 2019

Happy New Year to all members of ARCO and to the wider Defence Forces Community.

The Defence Forces have complied a comprehensive end of year review of their Operational, Training and Educational Activities for 2019, both at home and overseas.

To download the Review, circulated by the Defence Forces Press Officer, please click here.

Category: News | Tags: ,
Association of Retired Commissioned Officers