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EUR190 A WEEK; FOR PUTTING THEIR LIVES ON THE LINE FOR IRELAND.

Byline: By MICHELLE O'KEEFFE

YOUNG Irish soldiers earn just EUR190 a week - even when on dangerous foreign missions.

The apprentices are left with the pathetic income to live on after food and accommodation costs are deducted from their pay packet.

The Permanent Defence Force Other Ranks Representative Association called on the Government to pay the soldiers more money but they refused.

A PDFORRA spokesman said: "This is not an appropriate payment for persons - some of whom have served on overseas missions - while completing their apprenticeship.

"And overseas service will clearly continue for these personnel. The main risk is that these much needed technical personnel will leave the Defence Forces or that the Defence Forces will fail to attract technically-minded people because of pay scales.

"We did submit a claim to the Department of Defence for an increase in apprentice pay but this claim has been rejected.

"Some of these apprentices will be promoted within the service, to three-star rank for example - and yet they are not paid accordingly.

"These soldiers do operational duty and make a significant overall contribution to the Defence Forces.

"Another issue is the lack of supported training establishments. The Apprentice School in Naas, Co Kildare, closed several years ago leaving a major deficit in technical training."

Trainees 'deserve pay rise'

news@irishmirror.ie

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DEDICATED: Irish troops
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Oct 12, 2007
Words:222
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