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An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister with responsibility for Defence, Paul Kehoe Attend Army Commissioning Ceremony of the 94th Army Cadet Class

  • Largest intake of Cadets since foundation of the State
  • First time commissioning held in Dublin Castle
  • Largest cohort of females to be commissioned from one class.

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar T.D. along with the Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Mr. Paul Kehoe, T.D., today (Monday 4th February 2019) attended the Commissioning Ceremony of the 94th Army Cadet Class at Dublin Castle.

The commissioning of 77 members of the 94th Cadet Class represents the single biggest intake of Cadets since the foundation of the State.

Nine of the 77 Cadets commissioned are from the Armed Forces of Malta.

Some 17 members of the class are women - the largest cohort of females ever to be commissioned from one class.

This was the first time that a commissioning ceremony was held outside of the Defence Forces Training Centre, Curragh Camp.

An Taoiseach and Minister Kehoe were accompanied by the Secretary General of the Department of Defence and the Chief of Staff. While this is the first time for An Taoiseach to attend a commissioning ceremony, he has, on other occasions, seen first-hand, the skill and professionalism of the Defence Forces. Most recently, Mr Varadkar and Minister Kehoe, visited Irish troops serving with the EU Training Mission in Mali.

In his address to the newly Commissioned Officers, An Taoiseach said:
“Our Army, our Air Corps and our Naval Service perform vital functions in our society. Today’s newly commissioned officers go out into the world equipped to be leaders at home and abroad. As a country we are committed to contributing to and advancing the cause of international peace and security. Over the past sixty years, in our work with the United Nations, we have matched our words with our deeds. Irish men and women have fought and died for the cause of peace and in the service of others.

Mr Varadkar added:
“As Taoiseach, I’ve had the privilege of visiting the Defence Forces on mission in Lebanon and Mali and I have seen first-hand their commitment and courage. Our Defence Forces have stood up to violent extremists, freed hostages, rescued nearly 18,000 people in the Mediterranean and tragically they have seen hundreds drown and recovered scores of bodies. The Defence Forces are our first line of defence at home and they bring honour on our country abroad. It is an enormous responsibility. I salute the courage and commitment of all the new officers being commissioned today.”

Addressing the newly commissioned Permanent Defence Force officers, Minister Kehoe “A Commissioning Ceremony is a very special occasion in that it marks the appointment of the newest cohort of officers to serve in the Permanent Defence Force”.

He continued:
The 94th Cadet Class before us today are part of the new generation of military leaders, who will play a central role in the next chapter of Ireland’s peacekeeping tradition.

The 94th Cadet Class was the largest intake of Cadets into the Defence Forces. 68 Cadets were commissioned as Officers of the Permanent Defence Forces at today’s ceremony of which 17 were women.

The Minister also congratulated the 9 Cadets from the Armed Forces of Malta who received Certificates of Graduation from the Cadet School.
Minister Kehoe paid tribute to the families and friends of the members of the 94th Cadet Class for their support and encouragement and also paid tribute to members of the Defence Forces Cadet School “who have moulded these young men and women into fine young officers over some fifteen months of training”.