A delegation from PDFORRA met with the Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces this evening to highlight concerns over the conditions endured by troops stationed in the Phoenix Park for the papal visit over the weekend

The Permanent Defence Force Other Ranks Representatives Association (PDFORRA) said that they were aware of images online showing needles found close to where members of the Defence Forces were sleeping and resting.

The Association said that the images of hypodermic needles were 'appalling'.

PDFORRA wrote to military management this morning expressing concerns and asked for an explanation as to how this occurred.

Gerard Guinan, General Secretary said: "The images of hypodermic needles strewn in an area where members were deployed were appalling, and gave rise to serious Health and Safety concerns within the Association."

He continued: "Members of the Defence Forces expect to endure robust conditions during their careers; however, of the apparent exposure of members to the potential of infectious diseases is deeply worrying."

Mr. Guinan said that PDFORRA intends to fully investigate the circumstances with its members in the coming days and to subsequently address any issues arising with military authorities.

RTÉ News understands that the President, Vice President and Deputy General Secretary of PDFORRA met with the chief of Staff, Mark Mellett this evening about their concerns. 

A spokesperson for the group representing the Defence Forces described the meeting as 'constructive'.