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


24th Annual General Meeting – McKee Barracks
1130hrs, Friday, 05 October 2018


  • 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

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

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

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: ,

Lt. Col. Ray Lane – Retirement Function

Lieutenant Colonel Ray Lane would like to invite ARCO colleagues to his Retirement Function and Presentation. This is planned for 1400 hrs on Tuesday, 01 May 2018 in the Ordnance School, Ceannt Barracks, Defence Forces Training Centre and afterwards in Ceannt NCO’s Mess Complex for presentations and refreshments.

There will be no associated costs for attendees but anyone planning to attend is kindly requested to notify the following Points-of-Contact in the Ordnance School not later than close of business on Friday 20 April 2018.

CS Liam Dowling: email Tel 0035345445364

Cpl Joe Molloy: email

Category: Retirements, Uncategorized | Tags: ,

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: ,

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: