The Majority of Opposition Parties Back Women of Honour Call for Full Independent Investigation into the Defences Forces
NB Please see WoH letter attached.
A letter has been issued to the Taoiseach from the leaders of the majority of political parties in the Dáil backing the Women of Honour’s call for a full independent external Commission of Investigation into the alleged Sexual Violence, Bullying, Discrimination and the systemic resistance within the Defence Forces which prevents victims and survivors achieving justice.
According to Aontú leader and Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín who brought the Women of Honour into Leinster House last Monday to meet with Opposition Parties;
“Many of us have met with the Women of Honour a number of times. These citizens have been forced to publicly articulate extremely harrowing personal stories. These women were in the service of the state, often putting their lives at risk for us and we owe a debt of gratitude to these women for all the work that they have done to raise this issue into the public consciousness. Its incredible that they have been forced to undertake a job of work, unpaid, that is equivalent to a full-time job to reform the Defence Forces. This should be the job of the Minister for Defence.
The Minister promised the Women of Honour from the start that he would listen to them and that he would be guided by their input. However he has ignored their call for a full independent, external investigation and has instead created an review. This is incredibly wrong. We demand that the Minister for Defence, Simon Coveney meet again with their representatives, really listen to them and include them in the formulating of a full independent, external, Commission of Investigation into Bullying, Discrimination and Sexual Violence in the Defence Forces and the alleged systemic resistance within the Defence Forces which prevents victims and survivors achieving justice.
I welcome that the vast majority of the opposition parties in the Dáil and the Seanad have sent such a clear message to Simon Coveney today”.