'Definitely not Mullingar' for army HQ - Martin

The Tánaiste Michéal Martin has poured cold water on the recent proposal by Cllr Hazel Smyth that Columb Barracks be considered as the location for the new HQ of the Defence Forces.

“It was decommissioned by the Department of Defence. I think people are looking at Athlone as a prospect but definitely not Mullingar,” he told the local press during a visit to Mullingar last Friday.

When asked about the chances of Costume Barracks in Athlone being chosen as the location for the new HQ, the tánaiste said that “a review is on the way as an outcome of the Commission on the Defence Forces”.

“I must say that the military tradition in this region has been very, very strong. Every time that I go to the Lebanon, every time that I go to various barracks, that is so evident.

“There is a tremendous loyalty to the Defence Forces in this region and there has been a very honourable participation by people in the community here. I see it all of the time,” he said.