Sinn Féin spokesperson on Defence, Sorca Clarke TD, has announced that the party will bring forward a motion in the Dáil this week calling for a commission of investigation into allegations by the Women of Honour.
The Private Member’s Bill will be debated in the Dáil on Tuesday.
Teachta Clarke said:
“This week, Sinn Féin will bring forward a motion in the Dáil calling for a commission of investigation to be established into allegations by the Women of Honour.
“These allegations are of the utmost seriousness. Women have bravely come forward to tell their difficult and distressing stories of bullying, harassment, sexual assault and rape.
“I want to commend the bravery and determination of these women in their pursuit of truth and justice.
“Minister Coveney has totally failed to appreciate the seriousness of these allegations and is insisting on conducting a mere internal review. This is totally inadequate and unacceptable.
“Survivors have outlined repeatedly to the Minister why they need to see a commission of investigation established, yet he is failing to listen.
“Sinn Féin stands with the Women of Honour and their right to justice. Nothing less than a commission of investigation will be accepted.
“Women in the Defence Forces show exceptional bravery every day in going on missions to keep others safe, yet the state has failed to prioritise their own safety. They have been utterly failed.
“Survivors have told me they feel that their abuse did not stop when the incident stopped but instead has been compounded by systems and power structures which have re-victimised and re-traumatised them.
“It is imperative that a commission of investigation examines the culture in the Defence Forces and ensures much-needed change is enacted. This is about ensuring dignity, safety and accountability in the Defence Forces.
“It is not too late for Minister Coveney to do the right thing here. He can and must establish a commission of investigation.
“I am urging all TDs to back Sinn Féin’s motion in the Dáil and ensure the Women of Honour get justice.”