"Full, Transparent Public Tribunal the only Route to Justice for Women of Honour Group" - Tóibín
The Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín TD has criticised a decision by the Tánaiste, Micheál Martin, to proceed with the terms of reference for the investigation into the issues of rape, abuse, bullying and discrimination within the defence forces.
It is understood the current draft of the terms of reference will come before cabinet next week, with only minimal changes made by the Tánaiste.
Speaking today, Deputy Tóibín said:
"It is yet another kick in the teeth to the women effected by such horrendous abuse that the terms of reference for the investigation do not allow for proper accountability. When Aontú raised this first in teh Dáil we stated that these terms of reference must be drafted in consultation with the women. This didn't happen and I understand the Women of Honour are very disappointed with the lack of change to the terms".
Deputy Tóibín continued: "These women put their lives on the line in the service of our country, they deserve accountability and justice. Their service was met by assault, rape, abuse, bullying and discrimination. What seems to be happening here is that instead of the perpetrators of this abuse being punished, the victims are being given the run around by the government".
"Aontú is today calling for a full transparent public tribunal, which we now feel is the only hope of justice for the Women of Honour. We must not just examine the abuse, but also the cover-up, the inaction by successive Ministers and government departments. The perpetrators of this abuse must face real sanction, not merely a slap on the wrist. The terms of reference, as they stand, are accountability free. This isn't good enough. A public tribunal is now the only way to deliver justice", concluded Deputy Tóibín.