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TDs must support Women of Honour’s calls for commission of investigation - Sorca Clarke TD

8 February, 2022 - by Sorca Clarke TD

Sinn Féin spokeperson on Defence, Sorca Clarke TD, has urged TDs to support the party’s motion in the Dáil this afternoon to establish a commission of investigation into allegations by the Women of Honour group.

The motion will be debated in the Dáil this afternoon at 15:50.

Speaking today, Teachta Clarke said:

“I am urging all TDs to back Sinn Féin’s motion in the Dáil today. It is not too late for Minister Coveney to do the right thing here.

“The Women of Honour bravely came forward and shared their deeply distressing stories. They spoke of shocking violence and harassment, as well as a complaints system that further compounded their horrendous treatment. 

“I want to commend their determination and their fight for truth and justice. They protect us in their work, yet the state has failed to protect them. The Women of Honour are determined that no other women are subjected to what they were forced to endure.

“These allegations of bullying, harassment, assault and rape in the Defence Forces are deeply concerning and require a commission of investigation. Survivors have been very clear that nothing less than a commission of investigation will be acceptable in appropriately examining what has happened.

“Survivors feel dismayed and disappointed by the way that Minister Coveney has handled this. He has ignored their pleas and insisted that a mere internal review will be established. This isn’t good enough.

“The proposed review will not bring systemic change needed. Sinn Féin believe the review mechanism and the associated terms of reference are not fit for purpose and will not establish the extent of abuse by perpetrators, the coercive influence and other negative career impacts which followed from the complaints process.

“We need to see considerable change so that members of the Defence Forces can be confident when reporting incidents that those engaging in abuse will be held accountable.

“I am urging all TDs to stand with the Women of Honour and support our motion. Minister Coveney must do the right thing and listen to survivors.”

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