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Ireland seeks to lock in higher defence spending

11th February 2022 - 13:30 GMT | by Damian Kemp in Dublin

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Irish defence minister Simon Coveney (pictured inspecting UNIFIL troops in Limerick) advocates higher defence spending. (Photo: Irish Defence Forces)

Security threats and the need to refresh capabilities add weight to calls for Ireland to invest more in defence.

The recent report by the Irish government’s Commission on the Defence Forces (CoDF) comes at a time of heightened security concerns for the country.

Plans (since amended) by Russia to hold a naval exercise in Ireland’s EEZ on 8-10 February and repeated incursions by Russian bombers into Irish airspace over the past decade probably focused attention on the need for improved radars and potentially fighter jets for interception duties.

Recent IT security incidents may also have prompted the CoDF to propose investment in a Joint Cyber Defence Command; in 2021 the Irish hospital system was crippled by a cyber-attack from

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