March 28, 2023
Defence Forces statutory inquiry welcome and must be delivered without delay – Sorca Clarke TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Defence, Sorca Clarke TD, has welcomed that a review into allegations of violence and harassment in the Defence Forces has recommended that a statutory inquiry should be established to examine the issue.

Speaking today, Teachta Clarke said:

“The review has recommended that a statutory inquiry be established to examine allegations of sexual violence, harassment and bullying in the Defence Forces. I welcome this. The Women of Honour have always been clear that nothing less than a statutory inquiry will get to the bottom of these important issues.

“The review’s recommendations will now go to cabinet. The government must ensure that there are clear timelines in place for the establishment of this statutory inquiry and its terms of reference. Survivors deserve justice and there can be no delay. The Tánaiste must announce a timeline for delivery soon.

“The review’s finding that ‘the Defence Forces barely tolerates women’, is a damning and shameful verdict of the forces which must be tackled head on. Women join our Defence Forces, proudly serving their country, yet are clearly not treated with the dignity they deserve at a minimum. Wide-scale change is clearly needed and we need to see a concrete, detailed and deliverable plan for ensuring this change is enacted.

“I want to again commend the Women of Honour and all survivors affected by these issues, for their bravery and determination in bringing these shocking and deeply concerning issues to light.

“The inquiry must be survivor-lead and have survivors’ needs at its heart.”

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