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Parade in Cork to highlight poor pay and conditions for Defence Forces members

A parade will take place in Cork today to highlight the poor pay and conditions experienced by members of the Defence Forces.

The Respect and Loyalty Parade is the second such march organised by veterans and members of the lobby group WPDF (Wives & Partners of the Defence Forces).

The Respect and Loyalty group says the Defences Forces are in "serious crisis" and the parade with parade aim to highlight the pay and service conditions endured by personnel.

The Association of Retired Commissioned Officers (ARCO) has encouraged its members to attend this afternoon's event, which will include a wreath laying ceremony, a parade through the city, followed by a keynote address delivered by Lieutenant-Colonel Dan Harvey.

ARCO said people should attend to show solidarity with serving commissioned officers, enlisted personnel, and their families.

"Of particular concern to ARCO, is the inordinate delay in addressing the adverse effects of inadequate remuneration accruing to our serving colleagues in Óglaigh na hÉireann," the group said in a statement.

"In addition, ARCO remains deeply concerned with the manner in which the retention challenges, across all ranks, within the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service, are being addressed.

"Likewise, ARCO is fully aware of the deteriorating living and welfare standards endured by families of serving personnel, dependent spouses and children, and, in some cases, retired single personnel."

The Defence Forces are the lowest paid of all public sector workers. However, serving members are prohibited from marching in such protests.

The march will begin at 12pm from Grand Parade.