Unemployed 'forced' to join TA

Published Monday, 11 March 2013
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The Department for Employment and Learning has denied claims that jobseekers in Co Fermanagh are being 'forced' to join the Territorial Army or risk losing their benefits.

Unemployed 'forced' to join TA
TA volunteers support full-time soldiers in the UK and abroad. (© Getty)

The clarification comes after Sinn Féin MLA Phil Flanagan expressed concerns about advice given in job centres.

He said some unemployed people in Enniskillen have been told to apply for a position within the Territorial Army (TA), which is currently recruiting.

"This situation beggars belief and demonstrates no understanding or sensitivities whatsoever to the Irish nationalist or republican community here, which makes up almost 50% of the population and knows all too well of the history of aggression by the British Army in Ireland," said Mr Flanagan.

"It now appears that a form of conscription has arrived on this island as a result of the recession and young men and women, desperate for work, are now being forced to join the British Army against their wishes."

DEL said a vacancy within the TA has been advertised on the JobCentre Online system since the beginning of last month.

"However, the department can confirm that jobseekers have not been advised that failure to apply for the Territorial Army posts could potentially result in or contribute to a loss of benefits," added a spokesman for the department.

Mr Flanagan said he has written to the Minister for Employment and Learning to ensure that people who have no interest in joining the army are not being advised to enlist.

© UTV News
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30 Comments
Roy in Belfast wrote (607 days ago):
Laugh out loud, reading these posts is great fun, seems a lot of people from The motherland England putting their tuppence worth in though, or are they really only Irish people who live and love living in England methinks. So now the TA, which is volunteers by the way, but still viewed as part of the great big British war machine, lol, oh really. If your on the dole and can't seem to get off it, yes it's an option for many, but don't tell sein ( jackanory) fein , they will think it's a conspiracy by the Brit government to enlist these young Irishmen and then win them over....oh wait, the British government have been doing that for years sein fein, only they called them agents, and they recruited a hell of a lot of them. Some even got government jobs for their services....so the TA, the worlds your oyster.
Realist in England wrote (618 days ago):
Me in Larne - I understood your post. I disagree with the forced labour idea but, beyond that - if the TA is an option, perhaps a republican equivalent should also be an option (not that, to my knowledge, one actually exists - maybe a Free State equivalent would be more acceptable to Unionists). The British/Irish thing is only one part of my issue, however. I don't believe that any military service should even be offered as an option. People can opt to do such things - they can even join the French foreign legion if they choose - but it should be a completely free personal choice. My point is that no-one should ever be encouraged to do something that puts their life at risk in order to get enough money to survive/provide for their families.
Tut tut in Carrickfergus wrote (619 days ago):
@ Tommy Atkins London England... Did someone from the T.A bully you when you were a child? Hopefully not. You seem a little distressed by this topic. Maybe best you didn't join in anymore? Huh?
Tut tut in Carrickfergus wrote (619 days ago):
It seems that I have ruffled a few feathers by my last post lol. I'm glad. I'll stand by what I said before. National service should be brought into force. We are so blinded in this country by religion, the past, bigotry, to even think seriously for the future of our young people. It's true what they say. 'All the real men died at war.'... Anyone out there prefer to talk about the great flag?!? We are in the dark ages folks. They will never lighten while we all argue amongst ourselves about the same poop different year. Over & over & over again & again & again & over & over again & over & over.... Gets boring, doesn't it?
sarah in belfast wrote (620 days ago):
am i missing the point here or am i the only 1 that seems 2 get it?? it has nothing 2 do with catholic/protestant or nationalist/unionist it is about the fact that no1 at all should ever ever be forced 2 join the TA!! I know plenty of protestants that would rather cut off their right arm than join the TA!! As a catholic I am abit annoyed that such a fuss is being made about this. I seriously doubt that any1 was trying 2 b forced 2 join the TA it was probably just suggested & as with everything these days it has been blown way out of proportion. stop the debates about who is right & who is wrong & stop talking about the past!! can i please just enjoy living in the country that i live please?? i have sooo had enough!! every1 please just go get a life
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