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KICK IN THE BARRACKS; Reports of ants and rats inside buildings; Personnel forced to sleep in their vehicles.

Byline: SYLVIA POWNALL

SYLVIA POWNALL THESE shocking pictures show the filthy accommodation that Defence Forces soldiers are forced to stay in.

Facilities at Curragh Camp in Co Kildare and Cathal Brugha Barracks in Rathmines, South Dublin, have been described as "dreadful".

The run-down living quarters in Cathal Brugha have been compared to Hotel Rwanda - the establishment in the movie about genocide in the war-torn African nation.

Conditions are so bad some personnel have been forced to sleep in their cars rather than stay in their base.

And images of one of the shower blocks at the Curragh Camp show ceilings encrusted in damp, chunks of paint and plaster peeling away, cracked walls and loose wiring.

A video of the shower block shared online by the Wives & Partners of Defence Forces group shows swarms of ants crawling up the walls and along window ledges.

There are also heavy deposits of powder laid down in the showers and underneath the sinks in a bid to tackle the problem.

A WPDF spokesperson told the Irish Sunday Mirror: "It's clear to see there is an infestation there that they are trying to treat with powder.

"Judging by the size of these yokes, they are not your normal run-of-themill ants. Prisoners wouldn't tolerate these conditions so the serving men and women of the Defence Forces shouldn't have to either.

DRASTIC

"It's no wonder they are taking drastic measures not to sleep there where possible."

The WPDF spokesperson added: "This problem is not confined to Cathal Brugha, it's everywhere. There have been problems with rats, mice ants and cockroaches.

"The Curragh Camp is very rundown and needs an awful lot of work to bring it up to an acceptable standard, it's dreadful."

Single soldiers fork out up to [euro]45 a week for accommodation and rations despite the conditions.

A damning report published in July found dilapidated barracks along with poor pay and exhaustion had led to a mass exodus from the army, navy and air corps.

The shock findings also revealed privates had to take out loans to meet basic living expenses with some relying on social welfare supplements to make ends meet.

A Department of Defence spokesperson said the maintenance of single living accommodation is the responsibility of the authorities at each barracks.

They added: "Works have now commenced and are scheduled to be carried out on a phased basis, to be completed by the end of 2018."

sylvia.pownall@irishmirror.ie

COMMENT: PAGE 14

The Curragh Camp needs an awful lot of work to bring it up to standard - it's dreadful WPDF SPOKESPERSON on soldiers' run-down living areas

CAPTION(S):

by SYLVIA POWNALL RUN-DOWN Cathal Brugha barracks

NEGLECTED The shower block is in need of repair

FILTHY Insects on a tiled area

BRAVERY Members of the Defence Forces

health fears Ceiling falling apart in the Curragh Camp showers

GRIM Ants crawl around Cathal Brugha

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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 20, 2017
Words:481
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