The Minister for Defence, Willie O'Dea, has said there will be another military ceremony on Easter Sunday this year to commemorate 1916.

However, he said, there will not be a parade along the lines of the 90th anniversary, though there will be a military ceremony centred on the GPO with appropriate military honours rendered.

The Easter ceremonies were resumed last year following an absence of three decades due to the Northern troubles.

The minister also said that research into the issue of recruitment and retention of women in the Defence Forces is now at a very advanced stage and he expects to receive the findings in the next couple of weeks.

Speaking at the commissioning of cadets at The Curragh, Mr O'Dea said he will shortly be revealing the chosen design for the national memorial to members of the Defence Forces who died in service.

He said the memorial, at the Rutland Fountain on Merrion Square in Dublin, will be a permanent and prominent tribute to those who have given their lives in the service of the State.

Mr O'Dea said 2007 will also see the completion of the modern protection and load carrying system for individual soldiers.

This major procurement programme commenced in 2006 with the purchase of 8000 new units of modern lightweight body armour and 12,000 modern helmets.

2007 will see the delivery of 12,000 new Battle Vests and 12,000 new light weight Back Packs.

The minister said a competition will provide serving non-commissioned officers with an opportunity for promotion to the commissioned ranks will soon take place.

He said every recruit joining the Defence Forces should have a reasonable expectation of being promoted to commissioned officer level.