Dublin Airport: Soldiers ordered on 500km round trip for security work

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dublin airport soldiers ordered on 500km round trip for security work
dublin airport soldiers ordered on 500km round trip for security work

Soldiers are being ordered on a round trip of over 500km to work as security staff at Dublin Airport, it has emerged.

The Irish Mirror has learned that 40 soldiers from the 28th Infantry Battalion based at Finner Camp in Co Donegal are in the capital today for special training – before being deployed to the airport. They leave Donegal at 6am today for their two-day training course on how to act as security personnel.

And once the Government gives the nod, they will then be deployed from Donegal to spend up to a week at a time at the airport. The soldiers were sent for training after the Government announced last week that the army was being put on standby to help at the airport following the recent delays which led to thousands of passengers missing flights.

Read more: Expert warns Aer Lingus chaos ‘could last months’ as thousands of passengers affected by cancelled flights

Sources have confirmed that some 120 Defence Forces personnel are being trained for security duties at the airport this week – and most of them are from outside Dublin. As well as troops being sent from Finner Camp, soldiers are being deployed from Dundalk in Co Louth and Custume Barracks in Athlone, Co Westmeath – some 140 km from the airport.

Meanwhile, campaigners last night warned that they could come away with very little extra pay for their work – and accused the Government of using military personnel to help out a private company. Former army Sergeant Major Noel O’Callaghan – who now campaigns for better pay and conditions for Defence Forces personnel – said the soldiers would be nothing more than cheap labour for the airport.

And he claimed that the Department of Defence had not told soldiers’ representative bodies what allowances personnel would be getting for their work at the airport – although he feared it could be set at a very low rate. He said: “They will get €2.25 an hour for their shifts after all the tax is taken out. The airport is important, but it is not a role of the Army to go in and bail out private companies.

“The reality is that the Dublin Airport Authority laid off these workers. Everyone is looking for the Army to go in and bail them out on €2.25 an hour. The disrespect is coming at every level and our lads are being used as cheap labour.”

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Brian Adam
Professional Blogger, V logger, traveler and explorer of new horizons.