People hoping to escape the recession by joining the defence forces be warned: it involves certain pay and conditions which would likely raise more than a few eyebrows in other parts of the workforce.

The online application form for the jobs reveals that interested parties must agree to no small number of demands if they want to become an officer in the defence forces.

In a "self-assessment questionnaire" which forms part of the application process, they are asked if they are willing to "work after hours without extra pay when required", and "work on weekends without extra pay when required".

Moreover, they should be willing "to be vaccinated, re-vaccinated, inoculated and to have blood or other body fluids extracted under medical supervision for any purpose", the assessment states.

A prospective officer should also enjoy working outdoors, the questionnaire implies, and should understand that as a member of the permanent defence forces they will be "liable to render military service at all times".

There is also the small matter that military service, even for a neutral country like Ireland, "can be dangerous and in some cases may involve the risk of injury and death".

"Would you be willing to use your firearm to defend yourself/ your comrades or civilians if required?," it asks, to which a yes or no answer will suffice.

"Are you willing to obey orders, which may involve the risk of injury and death?", and would you be willing to give orders "which may involve the risk of injury and death to soldiers under your command?", it also asks.

Despite the apparent drawbacks, few interested candidates appear to have been put off by these requirements.

According to figures released by the defence forces press office, which garnered significant media coverage, it had received more than 1,600 applications for just 42 cadetships by the middle of last week.

Before last Friday's application deadline, this represented an increase of more than 100% in the number of applications compared to last year.

Moreover, in an indication that more and more highly educated young people see a career in the defence forces as worthwhile, around a quarter of all applications came from university graduates.