PDFORRA has said it is seriously concerned about the impact a reorganisation of the Army is having on its members, especially in Athlone.

Yesterday, it was announced that Athlone had lost out to Dublin and Cork as a location for brigade headquarters, when the number of brigades is cut from three to two.

PDFORRA said that in the past weeks serious concerns have arisen in the Athlone area.

The group represents soldiers, sailors and airmen and women of the Defence Forces.

It said it was believed that several hundred soldiers would have to change station, as a direct result of the downsizing and subsequent shutting down of a brigade headquarters in Custume Barracks.

This afternoon, Simon Devereux, Deputy General Secretary of PDFORRA, said, however, it welcomes a statement from Minister for Justice Alan Shatter that "in the order of 1,000 personnel" will continue to have posts in Athlone - after the downsizing and restructuring is complete.

Mr Devereux said his members in the Western Area have experienced the decimation of their facilities in recent years, with six barrack closures; in Mullingar, Castlebar, Cavan, Lifford, Letterkenny and Longford.

PDFORRA again questioned the thinking behind reducing the Defence Forces from a three to a two-brigade structure, and called on the minister to reconsider this decision.