Athlone army barracks is to lose almost 100 troops under the reorganisation of the Defence Forces, which was announced late yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon.
The numbers will drop from 1,067 personnel to 971 once the reorganisation has been complete, a loss of 96 troops. The 4th Western Brigade will cease to exist once the reorganisation has been complete and the two brigades will be headquartered from Cork and Dublin and Custume Barracks will be headquartered from the 2nd Eastern Brigade in Dublin.
However, once the reorganisation has been completed the only unit that is presently there that will remain is the 6th Infantry Battalion.
At present the 4th Western Brigade HQ, 6th Infantry Battalion, 4th Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Cavalry Squadron, 4th Field Engineers Company and the 4th Field CIS Company are based at Custume Barracks. Once the reorganisation is complete the units based at Custume Barracks will be the 6th Infantry Battalion, the 2nd Field Artillery Regiment and the 2nd Engineer Group. It appears the other units currently based in Athlone will be disbanded as the newly reorganised structure makes no mention of the other units.
Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence Alan Shatter made the announcement yesterday and said he announced the fact the brigades would be headquartered in Dublin and Cork to dispel a misleading campaign in relation to Custume Barracks.
"This campaign continues to raise unnecessary concerns locally about the future of the barracks and the number of personnel that would remain in the barracks. With 9,500 serving personnel, the PDF numbers in locations throughout the country will not change significantly. However, functions will move between locations."