Dáil Éireann - Volume 507 - 29 June, 1999
Written Answers. - Army Bands.
Mr. N. Ahern Mr. N. Ahern
78. Mr. N. Ahern asked the Minister for Defence his views on the reduction of the number of Army bands; if he will quantify the loss to the communities close to the Army barracks of the facilities, advice and help; the way in which the loss to communities can be made good; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16704/99]
Mr. M. Smith Mr. M. Smith
Minister for Defence (Mr. M. Smith): Recently, I approved a proposal from the military authorities that the military band at the Curragh should be amalgamated with the band of the Eastern Brigade, the Army No. 1 Band. The amalgamation of these two bands does not involve any reduction in the overall numbers of musicians within the school of music, as already provided for within the Defence Forces Review Implementation Plan as approved by the previous Government. Under the previous organisation of the Defence Forces, each Army command – of which there were four, namely, the Eastern, Curragh, Southern and Western Commands – had a  military band. In the new organisational structure, which came into effect on 1 November last, these four commands were replaced by three brigades. Each of these three brigades, Eastern, Southern and Western, has a band as part of its organisation, with the band of the former Curragh Command being now amalgamated with the band of the Eastern Brigade, the Army No. 1 Band.
The military authorities are of the opinion that this new organisation of the school of music will allow all of the Army bands to function to their full potential.
Dáil Éireann 507 Written Answers. Army Bands.