Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Liam Dowling from St. Michael's House to give some advice for people considering this job:

Liam Dowling

Clinical Nurse Manager 2

St. Michael's House

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Liam Dowling

Do your homework, ask about it - there is lots of infomation out there.  You need to be person centred, social, not afraid to mix and to have an understanding of disability or at least be prepared to learn about it. 

People with an Intellectual Disability  ARE NOT SICK , but they can get sick like everyone else and sometimes I feel people outside don't fully understand this. They don't just need Gods help. They need the help of qualified people that want to understand them so that their needs are met and they have chance to enjoy their life as much as is possible.


Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their best operating under supervisors who give clear guidelines, and performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.

They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
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Recruitment Opens for Irish Army

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Recruitment Opens for Irish Army

Thursday, February 23, 2017 

Recruitment Opens for Irish Army

The Defence Forces are launching a new General Service Recruits competition for both the Army and Naval Service on Thursday 23rd February 2017.

Applications for this are made online through our website The application phase of the competition will remain open for 6 weeks.

The closing date for this competition is 23:59hrs on the Wednesday 5th April 2017.

Video: Defence Forces General Service Recruitment Competition 2016

The Defence Forces require men and women from all backgrounds that possess a strong sense of duty, enjoy working as part of a team, and are looking for a rewarding yet challenging career.

Below are some requirements for applicant’s wishing to apply:

Who we want

Army recruits are the backbone of the Irish Defence Forces. They are the frontline soldiers of the Army. The Defence Forces is looking for people who are looking for a challenging and physically demanding career in the military. Applicants should have:

  • The ability to work in a disciplined military environment. 
  • The ability to work with others in a team.
  • Work well in a high pressure and physically demanding environment.
  • Be willing to serve aboard for extended periods of time.

On qualification recruits take up a position as a three star private in one of the following Service Corps — Infantry, Artillery, Cavalry, Supply & Transport, or Communications Information Systems.


No formal education qualifications are required to join the Defence Forces as a recruit. However, you must satisfy the Interview Board and the Recruiting Officer that you possess a sufficient standard of education for service in the Defence Forces.

Age Limitations

Applicants must be not less than 18 years of age and under 25 years of age on the date deemed as the closing date for applications. 


Recruit Competitions are held in each Brigade of the Army as required and are the only way to join the Defence Forces to become a Private Soldier. Candidates undergo psychometric testing, fitness testing, an interview and a medical exam. In conjunction with this all candidates will be security vetted by An Garda Síochana. Candidates will be required to pass both the medical examination and security vetting to be considered for induction. The Induction Process will determine if you have the potential to become a Private Soldier in the Army.

The Induction Process


Potential Candidates are required to complete an online application form through The dates for the Recruit Competition are advertised on the Irish Defence Forces Recruitment Facebook Page, in the National Newspapers and on this website, with applications only being accepted on these dates. All correspondence with applicants will be through email for the duration of the competition.

Note: Applicants for the Army may also apply for the Naval Service.

Psychometric Testing

All candidates who meet the minimum eligibility criteria will be invited to do an online psychometric test. Full details of these tests will be emailed to all applicants after the application phase is complete.

Fitness Testing

All candidates who meet the minimum eligibility criteria will then be invited to attend a Fitness Testing Centre, where they will be required to complete the Defence Forces induction fitness test. This is a pass or fail test. Once candidates commence the test, they will not be permitted to re-attempt it as part of this competition. Dual candidates for the Army and Naval Service will only be required to pass one test.

Read more about Defence Forces Fitness Testing


Candidates who are successful at the Fitness Assessment Centre will be invited to undergo an Interview. The interview typically takes place the same day as the fitness test. The interview is competency based where Candidates will be assessed under the following competencies:-

  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Teamwork
  • Motivation
  • Career Orientation

Medical & Security Clearance

The top scoring candidates at the Interview will then be called to attend a full medical examination. In conjunction with this all candidates will be security vetted by An Garda Siochana. Candidates are required to pass both the medical examination and security vetting to be considered for induction.

Award of a place in a Recruit Platoon

The candidates who finish at the top of the competitions order of merit will then be offered a place in a Recruit Platoon.


The Recruit Training Syllabus is designed to produce a physically fit, disciplined and motivated Two Star Infantry Soldier with basic military skills. Recruit training foundation military training. It is seventeen weeks in duration. It is followed by 3 Star training and at a later stage by Trained Soldier Specialist Training courses.

Recruits may be required to complete their training in any Defence Forces location and following their training, may be posted to any Defence Forces location subject to Defence Forces requirements. Where possible recruits are trained in the nearest barracks to their home address.

Phase 1: Induction (Two weeks)

This period will include a Defence Force orientation package, adventure training and information/motivational instruction to the recruit. The Induction period seeks to present a positive approach with the promotion of the Defence Forces as a progressive and forward looking organisation. The period will also include personnel/logistical administration, some aspects of health and safety education and training, medical intake processing and an introduction to physical educational training. The training format will include both lecture and practical demonstrations.

Stage 2: Introductory Training Period (6 weeks)

Instructional focus will concentrate on Foot/Arms Drill, Rifle Marksmanship (to include the Recruits Annual Personal Weapons Test), GPMG (to include the Recruits Annual Personal Weapons Test), and Physical Fitness. 

Phase 3 — Tactical Training Period (6 Weeks) 

The main instructional focus during this phase will be tactical training and will culminate with the ten (10) day exercise in week 14/15.  This training will focus on imparting to the recruit a thorough knowledge of Section level tactics.

Phase 4 - Final Training Period (3 Weeks) 

The emphasis during this phase will be on the final approval of the recruit and preparations for the Passing Out Parade. 

Unit Assignment

Recruits who are deemed to have successfully completed the training syllabus receive their Unit assignment in the last week of the Recruit course.

Applications will open online here