Families of soldiers serving in Cork’s Collins Barracks fear their kids will have to be uprooted if soldiers are transferred to other barracks.
The 4th Infantry Battalion, which is based in the barracks, is being disbanded as part of a downsizing of the Army announced by Minister for Defence Alan Shatter last month.
Under the downsizing measures, an unconfirmed number of personnel will have to be transferred from Collins Barracks to other Southern Brigade barracks in Limerick or Kilkenny.
It is feared that the figures mentioned indicate that more than 100 soldiers could be re-deployed but soldiers are hoping that this will prove unfounded.
Justice spokesman for Sinn Féin, Deputy Jonathan O’Brien, said soldiers with families who will be re-assigned to new barracks will have three options open to them.
He said: “Families just want clarity at this stage. They have roots in the community and their children are going to schools. Soldiers in that position will have three options if asked to redeploy — to uproot their whole family, leave them behind and commute to their new barracks, or to leave the Army.”
The 4th Infantry Battalion has been based at Collins Barracks for 80 years and accounts for almost half of the troops allocated to the base.
After the announcement by Minister Shatter, representatives of the Defence Forces representative group PDFORRA travelled to Cork to meet with battalion members and hear their fears.
Last week, the body said most of the concerns about the re-organisation were from soldiers attached to Collins’ Barracks.