A message from the office of General Officer Commanding Air Corps

Having served as GOC AC for just over six months it is fair to say that I now have a new insight into the Air Corps and its people. Following on from the recent visit by Minister Kehoe, and my experience in the office to date, I can say with certainty and confidence that I am heartened by the dedication and professionalism of the Air Corps and its personnel, and the very reals individual commitment displayed by you all.

I make no secret of the fact that as an organisation SAFETY is our priority and I am very aware of the value and significance of your own individual contribution to this end. Each and every one of us has a direct responsibility when it comes to safety, and the culture we espouse to, and we must strive to do our very best to achieve this. I am conscious of the fine efforts of all with regard to this shared goal.

“Let there be no ambiguity the Air Corps has an excellent Safety Record”

Untimely deaths of serving and former Air Corps personnel are either increasing or we are missing earlier deaths. The statistics of untimely deaths quite clearly show that the GOC Air Corps is talking nonsense and misinforming the men & women under his command as well as members of the Oireachtas.

Let there be no ambiguity, the Air Corps has an excellent Safety Record and associated Health & Safety regime. We are at the forefront of industry when it comes to processes and standards. This is a real and direct result of the professionalism and expertise of our people and their commitment, and should not be underestimated by and of us.

Cleaning weapons after air firing at Waterford July 2018. Inadequate PPE – Skin, Eyes & Respiratory exposure all in breach of MSDS

I am fully aware that not everything is perfect and we still have a journey to go. With this in mind I want to re-emphasise that when we see a need for change and development that we drive that from within. My message is clear, we all have a duty to drive this progress and you are all empowered to take ownership, and indeed action, when required. Whether it’s the need for specific equipment or a course of training, don’t ignore it and move on , make it happen. It is only with this attitude and outlook that we will be truly successful in our quest. You have my backing and my confidence in this regard.

When a full time Health & Safety enforcement official was requested Air Corps management responded that his could not be economically justified. With 63 men dead, management cannot justify a full time Health & Safety enforcement official but can continue to justify a full time Catholic chaplain costing approximately €60,000 per annum.

Refueling in July 2017, skin and eyes exposed to fuel splashes. Respiratory exposure to kerosene & FSII fumes, aerosols & vapors.

In closing, I am filed with pride on a daily basis when I see the dedication and commitment of our people. Your work and your actions make a real and tangible contribution to the State and its Citizens. and this should never be undervalued. I truly hope that you share in this pride and continue to demonstrate the admirable ethos and values that define the Air Corps

Sean Clancy
Brigadier General
General Officer Commanding the Air Corps

January 2018



Dáil Éireann Written Answers 07/09/18 – Department of Defence

Aengus Ó Snodaigh (Dublin South Central, Sinn Fein)


To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if there are restrictions on military leave for the week commencing 18 September 2018; the barracks and number affected; the reasons for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. 36676/18

Paul Kehoe (Wexford, Fine Gael)

The day-to-day operational management of Defence Forces personnel is a matter, in the first instance, for the appropriate military authorities. The Defence Forces operates on a 24 hours a day, 365 days a year basis and this means that, on occasion, military leave has to be restricted for operational reasons.

The approval of annual leave is a matter for the military authorities in line with the operational requirements of the Defence Forces.

The Ministerial Review of the 58th Infantry Group who are due to deploy to UNDOF the following week will be held on the 19th September.

The Air Corp’s Annual General Officer Commanding inspection will take place on 21 September 2018 and some units will hold Unit Inspections on 17 and 18 September 2018.


University of Limerick students exposed to Irish Air Corp toxic chemicals over decades

The University of Limerick sent 3 engineering students a year, from about 1990 to 2008, for work experience at the Irish Air Corps at Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel.

During their work experience all the UL students were  exposed to a range of CMR chemicals in an unprotected manner and at levels known by the Air Corps to be over airborne health and safety limits.

To date the University of Limerick have refused to alert their former students to the fact that they were overexposed to toxic chemicals including Trichloroethylene, Trichloroethane, Dichloromethane, Hexamethylene Diisocyanate, Toluene, Xylene, Benzene, Hexavalent Chromium and many more.

Like their military counterparts that served during the same time period some of the UL students have been injured by their time serving in the Irish Air Corps. They all need to be informed of their exposure so that those suffering can receive appropriate medical help.

The actions of the University of Limerick on this issue to date have been shameful.