Devastating review demands serious changes in Defence Forces

Senator Mark Wall
28 March 2023

Labour defence spokesperson Mark Wall said the review into the culture of gender-based violence, harassment and bullying in the Defence Forces is devastating and demands immediate and profound changes within the Forces.

Senator Wall said:

“Firstly, I want to reiterate my praise to the Women of Honour who bravely came forward to tell RTÉ’s Katie Hannon the depth of issues at play in the Defence Forces. Their courage and selflessness must be a watershed moment. Unfortunately however, as this report reveals, over a third of Defence Forces personnel were harassed while serving and in the majority of cases it was on more than one occasion.

“It is nothing short of a national scandal.

“It has taken over 15 months since these women came forward with their experiences for a review to be published which in itself is disgraceful. There can be no further delay in improving the conditions in the Force and changing the culture.

“The inquiry must be up and running before the Oireachtas rises for the summer to ensure justice and progress for all members of the Force.

“The issue of recruitment and retention in the Force has been well played. But is it any wonder that only 44 women joined the Force in 2021 given the scale of the culture crisis? To read the level of misogyny perpetuated at every level within the Defence Forces is utterly depressing.

“There must be accountability now within the Defence Forces to ensure that the culture of misogyny, harassment and bullying is wiped out once and for all.”

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