MOD Probed On Overseas Recruitment



A career in the British Army is that unpopular these days that the UnitedKingdom increasingly rely on recruitment of Nationals from other countries.

The Celtic League has been engaged in correspondence with the UK MOD about recruitment of Nationals from the Republic of Ireland.

The Irish government have told us that it is not illegal for a National of that State to make an individual choice to join an overseas Army.

However Irish law, specifically Section 312 of the Defence Act, makes it an offence to encourage a person to join a foreign army. We believe the UK MOD are `sailing close to the wind’ in relation to recruitment in Ireland and our correspondence to tease out the truth goes on (see below).

“Mr Richard Hills
(British) Army Recruitment and training Division
Trenchard Lines
Wiltshire SN9 6BE


Dear Mr Hills,

I write with reference to the concern raised with you about the recruitment of Nationals of the Republic of Ireland into the British Armed Forces. I have your reply dated 3rd June 2010 (D/ARTD/1/3/1-75862).

You will recall that the specific point we raised with you was that it was an offence under the laws of Ireland to encourage a person to join a foreign army (Section 312 of the Defence Act 1954). The issue had been highlighted following the circulation of information about `opportunities’ for a career in the British army by a careers office in Ireland.

I am disappointed that you do not believe that your web site as currently structured, i.e. citing `citizenship’ of the Republic of Ireland as making
persons eligible for membership of the Armed Forces, could be construed as encouraging citizens of a neighbouring State through
either ignorance or ineptitude to break the laws of their country. However I am reassured by your comment that potential recruits should ensure they seek information `through a careers office in Britain’.

There is one outstanding issue that you could shed light on. I note from your website that applicants for the services could be subject to normal careers checks. I wondered how the MOD (British Army) are able to follow-up on any information supplied by an applicant from the Republic of Ireland without cross-referencing data supplied with individuals or agencies in that country. I do hope that the UK military have not been doing this as if they have done so it would appear that they are soliciting citizens of a neighbouring State to breach section 312 of the Defence Act 1954.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours Sincerely,

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information”

Related article on Celtic News at:

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League


The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a
broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on
socio-economic issues.

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