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Wednesday 22 March 2023 Dublin: 10°C
Tánaiste arriving to meet Irish troops at Camp Shamrock in Lebanon today.
# Lebanon
Tánaiste promises to ensure Women Of Honour report recommendations 'are fulfilled'
The Women of Honour report is due go to the minister within the next week to ten days.

LAST UPDATE | Jan 26th 2023, 6:38 PM

Political Correspondent Christina Finn reporting from Lebanon

TÁNAISTE MICHEÁL MARTIN has said it is his intention to make sure that the recommendations contained in the Independent Review Group report in to the Women of Honour allegations “are fulfilled”.

On his visit with Irish troops at Camp Shamrock in Lebanon today, Martin told The Journal that the Government “will do everything we possibly can to continue to change culture and behaviour and to make sure that a life and a career in the Defence Forces is safe, progressive and enjoyable”.

It is understood the report, which is expected to be quite damaging, will be going to the Tánaiste, who is also the Minister of Defence, in the next week to ten days. 

The Women of Honour group were a number of female Defence Forces members who acted as whistleblowers in regard to their own treatment of bullying and sexual harassment in their military lives. 

Their claims were detailed in a high-profile radio documentary in late 2021.

Martin said the Government was correct in establishing the scoping inquiry 12 months ago.

“I haven’t seen the report. So I’m not going to preempt it. But suffice to say that, I anticipate there will be recommendations in that report. I will want to read the report in its entirety, but I do intend to make sure that its recommendations are fulfilled,” he said. 

The Tánaiste said that he had spoken to many men and women soldiers while at the camp today, who expressed to him their sense of satisfaction in the work they are doing in Lebanon. 

“It was gratifying to hear that on a one-to one-basis,” he said. 

When pushed on whether he would fulfill all the recommendations contained in the report when it is published, Martin said he will have to bring the report to Government for consideration.

“But I mean, the thrust of it is something that we obviously would take on board,” he added. 

52650592780_093a988dca_w Tánaiste meeting with Irish troops today.

In a recent interview with The Journal, the Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces Sean Clancy, who arrived at his post just as the Women of Honour scandal was breaking – said as he was at the beginning of his tenure, he had an opportunity “to do something about this and to tackle it’.”

Clancy said that the Defence Forces will “fully embrace” the findings in the Independent Review Group. 

Clancy said his immediate gut instinct when it emerged was to engage directly with the scandal – along with his command staff team, and working closely with Department of Defence General Secretary Jacqui McCrum. 

“No one person has all the answers on it and we don’t know the depth of what went on and the depth of the injury or the personal injury that is associated with this.

“As the year went on more (cases) unravelled and so we’ve taken that journey and put in a very proactive approach.

In terms of tackling the institutional claims raised by the group, Clancy said: “At the end of all that I still come to a very firm position this work will never be done. You have to constantly battle this because that’s human nature. It’s the nature of big organisations.”

With reporting by Niall O’Connor

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