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Letter from the Ministry of Defence regarding Soldiers driving Taxis

Roy May 3rd, 2013

Special thanks to Bohemian boy regular commenter here on the Blog:

I have been asked by Mr. Alan Shatter T.D. Minister for Justice, Equality & Defence, to write to you regarding your recent correspondence regarding Defence Forces personnel engaged in taxi driving.

The Minister has asked me to advise you that the Defence Forces Policy on off-duty employment makes clear that a Permanent Defence Force member’s service to the State takes precedence over off-duty employment, and that no employment should be undertaken that would prevent a member of the Permanent Defence Force from being available for duty at all times. The policy also makes it clear that no off-duty employment undertaken by a member of the Permanent Defence Force has the expressed or implied approval or sanction of the General Staff. Further, it is provided in Defence Forces Regulations that where off-duty employment is deemed likely to prove detrimental or prejudicial to the best interest of the service, measures may be taken to terminate or limit the scope of such employment.

Regarding your point specifically in relation to taxi driving by Defence Forces personnel based in Cathal Brugha Barracks, Rathmines, the military authorities have advised the Minister that two recent inspections of the car park were carried out. During the course of these inspections only one car parked in barracks was found to have a decal.

With regard to the Taxi Regulation Bill 2012 this is currently being considered by the Oireachtas. Subject to the Oireachtas enacting the Bill, and it being signed into law by the President, the provisions will then apply to members of the Permanent Defence Force in the same way as they will to all other citizens of the State.

I trust this information is of assistance to you.

Yours sincerely,


31 Responses to “Letter from the Ministry of Defence regarding Soldiers driving Taxis”

  1. True Dubon 03 May 2013 at 9:54 pm

    Maybe the soldiers hearing aids were not switched on when this issue was being discussed.

  2. flybyniteon 04 May 2013 at 12:28 am

    BB, Roy, True Dub,
    That letter must have been written by a politician.
    At first glance it would seem that the matter is in hand, it is taken care of.
    But read again, carefully this time, and you will discover that the letter says ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, eff all.
    “Duties take precedence”. Great ! What does it mean ? If war is declared soldiers must be ready to defend their country. How long notice will they get? Probably enough time to finish their shift in the taxi.
    “During inspections one car was found with a decal”. So ? Nothing in that letter says what happened afterwards. Did the soldier have to move the car? Did he get a warning ? Or is it just a body count of taxis parked in barracks? Remember Leo Varadkar promising that the idiotic and confusing speed limits that apply: often a low limit on motorways and high limits on country boreens ? We are still waiting.
    So I do not trust any of the politicians.

  3. sidewinderon 04 May 2013 at 2:23 am

    it meens everybody can do our job and we cant do theirs,sure they are coming from all over the world to eire to drive taxis!lads who in the industry are making money?not the legal foll time driver who needs it to suppoet their family,i wonder how much does ebbs make from the industry a lot more than us and i bet he has not drove a cab for a living for a long time mmm,slan kelly protected the rentals,any thing ever happens with driver and passenger i hold him responsibble

  4. flybyniteon 04 May 2013 at 9:30 am

    Exsactly, sidewinder. The politicians whip up a lot of hot air and sell it to the electorate as the greatest thing after sliced bread. Since they all do the same thing, they will get elected just because there is no choice.
    And after all the empty promises, once they get into the job with the fat salaries, even fatter expense accounts and the juicy pensions they just sit on there fat bottoms, forget all about the promises they made and lick the behinds of the big boyos who will pay them under the table and will continue paying even after they had to leave office.
    If the politicians do have to respond, like in Bohemo’s case, they use a lot of words to say absolutely nothing to defend doing nothing.
    For a while I thought that Gilmore was going to make a change but if I hear him talk now I nearly get sick. All he can do is blether with that phoney posh accent, now that he is Tanaiste.
    Yes, politicians are all the same. That is why FF are making a come-back. We all know that they were in power when our country was sold to the dogs for a few crumbs of dry bread, now that FG and Labour are in the likes of Boucher and his ilk, after ruining the country, still get obscene salaries instead of being fired, on the dole or jailed.
    The people of this country are being sold out and since it makes no difference who they vote for they just go back to the old lines that were drawn in the sand in 1922.
    The only party that so far seem to make a bit of sense are SF and I can only hope that they will continue on this path and not fall for the bright lights and expense accounts like all the others.

  5. sclasson 04 May 2013 at 10:08 am

    Good man flyby I like it I feel the same about that Gilmore the site or sound of him really pissed me off .He’s promising millions in aid while back home people waiting on trolleys in hospitals it goes on and on.
    I to will give SF a go.
    Please don’t let FF back in have the Irish people got no fukking memory it’s frightening.

  6. bohemian boyon 04 May 2013 at 10:41 am

    ok its very simple what i have already done now,was to write back to the minister thanking him for his reply, but explaining to him that his answer to whether or not members of the permanent defence forces was not clear,and uniquivicol and would he please give further clarificatiion.i await his reply

  7. Royon 04 May 2013 at 11:09 am

    It’s fairly clear, the Defence Forces Regulations allow that where off-duty employment is not detrimental or prejudicial to the best interest of the service and they are available for duty then off duty employment is fine, in short they are allowed to drive Taxis.
    I’m sure it’s similar for Teachers, after all they are free for the entire Summer

  8. bohemian boyon 04 May 2013 at 1:15 pm

    roy in all matters relating to double jobbing of our industry,i believe the health,and safety aspect is the one we should hammer.the potential danger to customers as a result of being driven by someone having worked combined excessive hours is something that they would see as dangerous.

  9. Royon 04 May 2013 at 3:03 pm

    Try hammering it home to Army HQ, they might listen to you, customers couldn’t give a Flying F

  10. bohemian boyon 04 May 2013 at 5:50 pm

    as i have said i am now awaiting further clarification from the minister,in the meantime i intend to contact every other major employer in the country asking them to set out their position regarding this matter.although i am not sure,i dont think an post permit it

  11. flybyniteon 05 May 2013 at 9:35 pm

    Lads,
    The following has nothing to do with the discussions on this forum, but I have been asked to put up the following:
    Has anyone taken a young woman to-day from the Guinness Storehouse to a small cruise ship, name Fram, moored at Rogerson Quay along the Liffey?
    She was picked up at 1:30 this Sunday afternoon and stopped off a few times to take some photos in the city centre.
    The taxi may have been a grey Skoda Octavia, she did not ask for a receipt, that is all she knows.
    She probably left a (pink) iPhone in the taxi.
    The ship has left already, but I have been asked, if anyone has found it, to call a tour guide who lives in Dublin and knows the owner.
    His or her name is Ruby and has mobile number 086 3257426.
    This guide will get it back to the owner.
    Thanks lads.

  12. jimon 07 May 2013 at 8:03 pm

    Car and driver not on data base today working from connelly staiton not taking fair to grafton st old lady this must stop as it gives us all a bad name what can we do about it its happening a lot of late?Driver said he did not know where it was crap.

  13. Frankon 08 May 2013 at 12:06 pm

    @jim, the NTA are on top of this, they tell us.

  14. Tonyon 08 May 2013 at 2:01 pm

    Jim what nationality was that driver

  15. flybyniteon 13 May 2013 at 11:47 am

    Tony that is a low one.

  16. Tonyon 13 May 2013 at 12:27 pm

    flyby I don’t know what you mean by that

  17. bohemian boyon 13 May 2013 at 12:40 pm

    its important to weed ALL illegal operators from the rank.somebody said recently i think it was sclass, that 6 such operators were removed from this rank for not being regristred on the portal.i may be wrong,but i think thats what he said

  18. Tonyon 13 May 2013 at 1:59 pm

    boh its also important to weed out the drivers who dont know their area, and theres lots of them

  19. bohemian boyon 13 May 2013 at 2:06 pm

    your 100% right tony,lets hope the powers that be KEEP on top of things now

  20. flybyniteon 13 May 2013 at 5:32 pm

    Tony,
    I agree that drivers MUST know their area.
    That in fact means a decent working knowledge of the city they work in. Having to program a GPS first – with meter already running – just is not good enough.
    Illegals should be rooted out, no issue.
    But asking “what nationality” comes too close to suggesting that it will be another immigrant.
    I cannot disagree that it is quite possible that the driver in fact WAS an immigrant and perhaps an illegal taxi driver.
    But by letting the question hang, you suggest that is WAS an immigrant. And unless you have proof, I think you just step too close to certain conclusions. Founded or unfounded ? We do not know – yet.

  21. Tonyon 13 May 2013 at 7:02 pm

    flyby we all know those gps and sat navs are a disaster, I think they should be banned completely. Any driver that has to rely on one of them does not know his area.
    I will not be surprised if that driver was in fact an illegal immigrant, I have seen so much of this carry on over the last few years. But as you said , lets wait and see.

  22. bohemian boyon 13 May 2013 at 7:14 pm

    look guys,lets be honest here this has nothing to do with knowing,or not knowing the area.its purely down to the fact that certain people dont want to take the fare because its not lucritive enough. i believe some of the people in question know dublin better then some of us that were born and reared in here

  23. Tonyon 13 May 2013 at 7:47 pm

    boh would any driver refuse a fare the way business is at present, i take every job i am offered, if its only a fiver. one job will lead to another. they all add up.

  24. bohemian boyon 13 May 2013 at 7:55 pm

    tony i understand what your saying,but there are drivers who feel having qued up for an hour on a rank, and being offered a run to city centre feel justified in rufusing. these drivers should be weeded out in my opinion, a fare, is a fare

  25. Tonyon 13 May 2013 at 8:52 pm

    boh remember you must have a valid reason to refuse a call. because a call is not maybe 20 or 30 euro, is not a valid reason. no place for these idiots in the business.

  26. Tonyon 14 May 2013 at 12:31 pm

    the taxi regulation bill is due for debate in the seanad today, when our brilliant senators will discuss any possible amendments. lets not forget these people are polital rejects/failures who are in no position to decide our future. take healy eames fron galway, for example, who had her car seized by gardai recently driving out of galway city for having no road tax for several months. and the same woman was caught travelling from athenry to dublin heuston station last year with no ticket. thats right, she did not pay her fare. and she will have a say on how the taxi industry will move forward. mind boggling is all i can say.

  27. bohemian boyon 14 May 2013 at 1:16 pm

    i have two entirely seperate questions some of you may be able to help with [1] in relation to my well documented recent road traffic accident, which it appears i am going to loose, can i take a civil action against the other fella in the small claims court ? [2] it has been widely publicised that 13500 taxi drivers are recieving welfere payments. in that case could someone please explain how come a friend of mine went to claim this and was told if he wanted to claim this payment,he would have to surrender all his stuff, plate, etc etc to the carriage office ?

  28. geron 14 May 2013 at 1:36 pm

    Ans to above.bboy. small claims court will only deal with cases of 2000 euro and under. as for the welfare. the 13000 drivers who on welfare does not mean they are on welfare . Eg. getting payments every week. if you get any payments eg medical cards, back to school, fuel allowence. etc etc then you are classed as getting welfare in some shape or form. It is true that you have to give up your psv if you want to go on welfare long term.

  29. Tonyon 14 May 2013 at 1:42 pm

    boh if you lose the case against the other driver, i cannot see any basis for a civil claim. sorry !
    regarding the welfare, a married man with big family commitments would probably qualify for some kind of income supplement. if he had to surrender his plate, he would have to get even more welfare to survive, so that would not make any sense.

  30. bohemian boyon 14 May 2013 at 1:54 pm

    ger thanks for clearing that up,the estimate for damage to my is 2700 so i suppose that rules me out

  31. Sgt Higginson 14 May 2013 at 3:24 pm

    # sidewinderon 04 May 2013 at 2:23 am
    it meens everybody can do our job and we cant do theirs,

    Not sure what you MEAN, why can’t you (any of you) do theirs?

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