Defence Forces members’ wives and partners stage protest in Donegal

Finner Camp action among protests held at barracks around the country today to call attention to pay and conditions

Carolyn Farrar

Reporter:

Carolyn Farrar

Email:

carolyn.farrar@donegaldemocrat.com

Defence Forces members’ wives and partners stage protest in Donegal

A scene from today's protest at Finner Camp.

Wives and partners of Defence Forces members staged protests at Finner Camp in Ballyshannon and barracks around the country today to call attention to members' pay and conditions.

They were joined by former members and wives of former members to speak out on behalf of members of the Defence Forces, who are not allowed to protest.

Protesters said 20 per cent of Defence Forces members depend on family income supports to supplement their income.

"Today was really just to show the military that we have their back, we are 100 per cent behind them and we are prepared to fight for them," Frances, one of the organisers in Donegal, said. "We are going to be their voice."

Motorists passing the Finner protest frequently beeped the horn in support of the group standing at the Donegal barracks.

When the recession hit, Defence Forces wages were the first to be cut, Frances said. And with the closure of barracks in recent years, many members also face much longer commutes to work, some spending up to €120 a week in petrol costs. She said there are members down the country who have lost their homes because they cannot afford to keep up with mortgage payments.

"Hopefully, after today, people will start to come out and realise what's happening here and get behind us," Frances said.

See Monday's Donegal Democrat and Donegal People's Press for more.