An Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence, accompanied by the Secretary General and senior staff of the Department of Defence, held a consultative meeting with ARCO, represented by the President and Vice President as well as representatives from ONE and IUNVA in the Department of An Taoiseach on 14 June 2023. This was the second such meeting regarding the preparation of the Terms of Reference for the Statutory Inquiry as recommended by the IRG-DF in their Report. This meeting took place on 02 May which we reported to you on 04 May. In the meantime ARCO submitted a detailed paper on its considered views on 10 May.
ARCO is satisfied that our submission received due consideration and the meeting afforded both parties the opportunity to clarify a number of matters. Nevertheless, a number of matters of particular interest to ARCO members have yet to be decided and finalised. ARCO is satisfied that our concerns were given a fair hearing and the Executive Committee will remain alert to developments as they arise.
On 24 April 2023 ARCO had requested a meeting with the Minister to inform him of the serious concerns of our members on the Findings of the IRG-DF in their Report and the manner in which the Defence Forces and the Veteran Community were portrayed in it and in the subsequent political and media commentary. Given the Minister’s extremely busy schedule and diverse responsibilities, ARCO concluded that a timely meeting was unlikely to take place and accordingly submitted a detailed paper setting out a critique of the methodologies used and refuting many of the broad conclusions drawn and presented as findings.
Members will be further advised on developments in relation to the documents submitted.