The Irish Defence Forces is of a very high standard internationally though.
Its easy to bash the Irish Defence Forces but as far as the standards go, they're quite good. Comparing the Defence Force of a small sovereign nation like Ireland to militaries designed to enforce the foreign policy of ex-colonial powers like the UK is rediculous.
A lot of Irish people seam to idolise the British military, when they don't realise that their own military is the kind of one that many other people around the world would idolise. We can talk all day about outdated structures and funding etc. etc. but take the Irish Defence Forces, and take every other military in the world, and compare funding, structures, training and efficiency, man for man, and the Irish military is not going to be ranked very low. It may be small, and may not be able to take on another country, but the quality is there. I even know a guy in the French Foreign Legion cavalry unit who asked me via facebook if I could advise him on how to get into the Irish Army, because he wanted better training.
When you go and compare the Irish military to the likes of the British military, its obviously going to look bad. Pretty much every military looks bad when you compare it to the brits. I'm not even in the military and annoys me to see the bashing the Irish military gets from Irish people.
If you join the Irish military, you will train hard and train at a high standard. You will be deployed to somewhere in the world on peace support operations. Many Irish soldiers who have been sent on these peace support operations have seen more action than the soldiers of a LOT of other countries. Ireland's military is not a war making machine. To advice someone not to join because of the fact that Ireland's DEFENCE force can't project itself to places in the world like the likes of the BA is completely wrong.
If someone wants a military career, then do not advise them away from the Irish military, because in the Irish military, they will get a real military career, and opertunities that far surpass those available in most other country's militaries. Maybe not in Europe and the western world, but definitely in the world. Just because they won't get to fight the taliban or be part of a body that can be sent to anywhere in the world in a few hours, does not mean he/she will be any less of a soldier than someone in some of the worlds best militaries.
The Irish military has changed a lot in the past couple of decades, and without doubt, regardless of funding, structures, combat experience, air support, or any of that stuff, the standard is there, and it is strong.
People shouldn't think, or influence other people to think that you won't be a soldier unless you see the kind of combat that the BA is facing in Afghanistan at the moment, or unless your'e part of a military with the projecting/defending capabilities that are better than Irelands. I'm not specifically addressing you Delancey. I'm trying to get my opinion on this issue accross in general.
The Irish Army may not be able to wage war on other nations, but the men and women that fill its ranks, are real soldiers, with significant operational experience, whether with or without combat, and they are of a well trained, and comparatively well equipped standard. Nothing wrong with the Irish Army. I know many people who have fought in Afghanistan with foreign flags on their shoulders who are dying to get into the PDF. And I know many people that serve/have served in foreign armies with great respect for the Irish military. Its a petty Irish people couldn't show that respect instead of always saying its not a 'real' army and all that crap and having a go at the capabilites of the Defence Forces.
BTW, Delancey I have referenced what you said in this post a bit but in general its not a go at you or a reply to your post. Its just a general rant about some of the attitudes towards the Irish military that I have come accross.
If you want to be a soldier, dont ever assume that if you join the Irish Defence Forces that you won't be one. Because you will be one, and you will be one that is much better trained and equipped than most soldiers in the world. There may be soldiers better equipped and better trained than you, in better funded more streamlined militaries, with better experiences than you, but that doesn't take from the fact that as a soldier in the Irish Defence Forces you will be a soldier. And a very good one at that.