Labour welcomes Tanaiste Response on Women of Honour statutory inquiry
Questioning the Tánaiste during Leaders’ Questions today, Labour leader Ivana Bacik urged Government to take on board the views of the Women of Honour group in finalising plans for the statutory inquiry into allegations of abuse and harassment in the Defence Forces.
Deputy Bacik said:
“The Women of Honour have been clear in outlining their serious concerns about the format and scope of the inquiry into cultural malpractice in the Defence Forces. In advance of his meeting with the Women of Honour today, Labour would urge the Tánaiste to reconsider the terms of reference of the inquiry, particularly to include an investigation into the victimisation of those who highlighted abuse or brought issues to the attention of senior officers.
“The truth is, our Defence Forces are in crisis following years of neglect. We need to address the crisis in recruitment and retention of Defence Forces members. While pay and conditions are at the root of this, allegations of a toxic culture at the heart of the Forces are certainly not helping in encouraging recruitment.
“The Women of Honour bravely came forward with the intent of changing the culture that is rampant in the Defence Forces. The Government must listen to their voices and ensure they are reflected in the terms of reference of the statutory inquiry. This inquiry must be up and running before the summer recess. Labour is happy to work with the Tanaiste and Government to ensure that this can happen.”