Defence Forces writes off more than €46,000 worth of equipment as either lost or broken beyond repair

The Defence Forces lost or wrote off as damaged beyond repair more than €46,000 worth of equipment over the space of two years.

Among the items that went missing in action or were damaged so badly they could no longer be used were body armour, a night vision device, GPS devices, and even badminton racquets.

The Defence Forces had originally released only a partial list of the items with close to half of the entries redacted on security grounds.

They had claimed release of details relating to some lost or damaged items “could be used by criminal elements, paramilitaries, or other state and non-state actors to counter a specific operational capability the Defences Forces uses at home and/or overseas”.

In an internal review decision, they said there was a risk of “serious harm, or indeed loss of life” and that the chance of this happening – while unlikely – could “potentially be catastrophic” to the Defence Forces, its personnel, and even the state. That decision was subsequently appealed to the Information Commissioner, at which point the Defence Forces opted to release the list in full.