Connect Dec 2016

Fuse Pipeline

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visit us at Mar Cheann Foirne, ba mhaith liom Nollaig Mhór Mhaith a ghuí ar fhir agus ar mhná Óglaigh na hÉireann agus a dteaghlaigh. Bhí baint mhór agaibhse i mbliana, bliain speisialta an chomórtha, lena chinntiú go ndearnamar an náisiún a neartú trí mhórtas a spreagadh agus an scoth a léiriú. As Chief of Staff, it is my privilege to extend sincere Christmas wishes to all members of Óglaigh na hÉireann. In this year of com- memoration, you have risen to the challenge of an unprecedented programme of commemorative events on behalf of the Irish people. On top of that significant commitment, you have represented Ireland with distinction in the conduct of your daily duties domesti- cally and internationally. Christmas and the New Year period affords us the opportunity to pause, reflect and evaluate the year gone by. 2016 has been a truly historic year for Ireland. Óglaigh na hÉireann were given a central role as the nation reflected on the sacrifices made by the people of Ireland a century ago. As Chief of Staff, I was particularly proud that our organisation was tasked by Government to contribute so signifi- cantly to this year's commemorative events. The centenary com- memorations offered the Defence Forces an opportunity to increase public understanding of our role while reinforcing our identity and heritage. In that regard, I would like to acknowledge the leadership of An Taoiseach and the Minister with responsibility for Defence throughout the year, and to thank the Department of Defence, under the leadership of the Secretary General, for their support. The Defence Forces involvement in the Easter parade was a partic- ular high point of the State's commemorative programme, with the world's media focussing on the country and commending the profes- sionalism and pride inspired by the Defence Forces. Our performance was enabled by the excellent cooperation across the public service in planning one of the largest and most complex public events ever un- dertaken in the history of the State. 750,000 people lined the streets of our capital and watched 3,500 members of the Defence Forces, our Veterans and emergency services colleagues parade and commemo- rate the sacrifices made by the men and women of 1916. I am immensely proud of the role that the Defence Forces played in all of the Centenary Commemorations, from participation in the Flags to Schools initiative through to participation in both local and national level ceremonies. These performances helped to strengthen Ireland by inspiring pride in the minds of Irish citizens at home and abroad. It is also important to remember that our core operational tasks continue to be carried out both domestically and internationally. To our soldiers serving abroad in some of the most challenging environ- ments on the planet, our sailors patrolling the seas and safeguarding the State's maritime interests and our aircrews patrolling our skies and flying lifesaving air ambulance missions, I extend my gratitude and sincere best wishes this Christmas. I am acutely aware that the military profession places unique de- mands upon you and your families, especially during long periods of overseas deployment. It is particularly difficult for families that are apart at this time of year. Families are an integral part of the Defence Forces community, and I would like to take the opportunity to remind you that your unit is there for them should they require any informa- tion while you are deployed. To your families, I convey my thanks for their steadfast support during the past year and I wish them a very happy and peaceful Christmas. The Christmas season is also a time to remember those who have gone before us. It is important to acknowledge in particular the members of the Defence Forces and our Veter- ans who have gone to their eternal rest during the past year. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and friends as their grief is felt more deeply during the festive period. Go ndéana Dia trócaire orthú. It is important that we take the opportunity to build on the achievements of Óglaigh na hÉireann and the support received by the organisation throughout 2016. Looking forward to the New Year, I have no doubt that 2017 will present fresh challenges but also excit- ing opportunities for our personnel. Focussing internally, 2016 saw the publication of the results of the Defence Forces Climate Survey, and the New Year will see the development and evolution of measures to address concerns raised by our personnel. Your positive engagement in this process has been essential in ensuring its success thus far, and I trust this engagement will continue as it progresses into the future. I look forward to work- ing with all those involved in the process to address the challenges highlighted in the survey, and I am confident that we as an organisa- tion are capable of meeting these challenges. I have been immensely impressed with our capacity to train and educate our personnel to deal with both the predictable and the un- predictable. It is your ability to apply the attributes of warrior, scholar and diplomat to a given situation that sets you apart internationally. The highly professional manner in which you perform your duties on a daily basis, both at home and abroad, is what contributes to the re- alisation of our vision of strengthening the nation by inspiring pride and leading excellence. We should not forget our individual responsibilities to maintain the proud reputation of Óglaigh na hÉireann. Our core values of Respect, Loyalty, Selflessness, Physical Courage, Moral Courage and Integrity are the foundation on which our organisation is built and should guide our behaviour in both our personal and professional lives. The legacy, stan- dards and traditions of the proud men and women that have preceded us should not be forgotten. I have no doubt that you will continue to build on their legacy and represent Óglaigh na hÉireann and the citizens of Ireland with distinction in 2017. In conclusion, I want to thank you for your committed and dedicated service to Óglaigh na hÉireann throughout the past 12 months, and for making 2016 such a momentous year for the people of Ireland. It is my great privilege to be part of such a wonderful institution, and I look forward with confidence to the challenges and opportunities that 2017 will present. I extend my warmest wishes to each member of the Defence Forces and to your families and wish you good health and happiness for the New Year. Nollaig shona daoibh go léir agus athbhliain faoi shéan agus faoí mhaise. Chief of Staff's Christmas Message

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