28 June 2021
By Mary Bermingham
The Minister for Defence, Simon Coveney, T.D., has today 28 June 2021, welcomed the publication of the Department of Defence and Defence Forces Annual Report for 2020.
The Annual report reviews the performance of the Department of Defence and the Defence Forces during 2020. Performance is reviewed against each of the strategic goals as set out in the Department of Defence and Defence Forces Strategy Statement 2017 – 2020.
A new Programme for Government was agreed in June 2020 and contains a number of significant commitments in respect of the defence sector.
2020 also saw the establishment of the Commission on the Defence Forces, tasked with carrying out a comprehensive review of the Defence Forces in accordance with the Terms of Reference approved by Government. The Department of Defence will engage with the Commission and it will have the commitment and support of everybody in delivering on a challenging agenda.
Minister Coveney said: “This Annual Report provides a comprehensive record of the extensive range of policy approaches, activities and operational outputs undertaken throughout the year. 2020 was a year we will remember for the COVID-19 pandemic and this report exemplifies the proactive and cooperative approach taken by my Department, the Defence Forces and Civil Defence in supporting the country in difficult times.”
“I wish to thank the staff of the Defence Organisation for their work throughout 2020 and I look forward to continuing to work closely with the Secretary General and the Chief of Staff and their respective personnel, civil and military, to deliver on our new Statement of Strategy 2021-2023. I also look forward to the outputs from the Commission on the Defence Forces and the Organisational Capability Review of the Department.”
The Secretary General of the Department of Defence, Jacqui McCrum, added: “The Defence Organisation has a unique civil military structure. During 2020 both military and civil branches have worked together cohesively to successfully achieve our objectives and I would like to thank each and every one of our staff both at home and abroad. The realisation of all of the commitments covered in the Annual Report required enormous effort and flexibility by all of the staff in the Defence Organisation and they are to be highly commended and thanked for their significant contribution to the national effort during the unprecedented events of 2020.”
Chief of Staff for the Defence Forces, Vice Admiral Mark Mellett concluded: “The Annual Report 2020 provides a comprehensive record of the extensive range of operational outputs undertaken throughout the year at home and overseas against the backdrop of the shock of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am so proud of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and women. I would like to thank each member and their families for their loyalty dedication and commitment. I would also like to thank our colleagues in the Department of Defence for their continued support as together we enable Óglaigh na hÉireann’s to strengthen the nation by inspiring pride and leading excellence.”