31st August 2012
By David O’Sullivan
News that the majority of troops based at Collins Baracks are to remain in Cork is great news for the city and also for the army members and their families, according to local Cllr Mick Finn who joined the chorus of disapproval against the proposed relocation of up to 300 army jobs.
Defence Minister Alan Shatter has revealed the re-organisation of the army’s units into two main units, with some 76 jobs at Collins Barracks in Cork due to be relocated.
“When word came that Minister Alan Shatter was to reduce force numbers in Custume Barrack’s in Athlone, immediate pressure was put on him and the decision was rescinded: it is good to see that common sense has prevailed in this instance also and that the First Southern Brigade is to remain largely intact. The Brigade will be reduced from its current strength of 1020 to 956.” Cllr Finn added that numbers of Kilworth also increase from 12 to 29.
“The No 1 Brigade is a hugely important asset to Cork and the Munster area and I think the Minister’s announcement, finally, gives some comfort to those who were ‘in limbo’ all along, worried about their futures.”
Cllr Finn acknowledged that some force personnel will have to move in order to fulfil positions in the army, but he added that the numbers involved could have been a lot worse. He praised local ministers and government TDs for the pressure they exerted.