Memo on Defence Forces oversight group to be brought to Cabinet

Micheál Martin said that the ‘litmus test for the cultural transformation’ would be how rank-and-file members feel
Memo on Defence Forces oversight group to be brought to Cabinet

By Gráinne Ní Aodha, PA

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin is to bring a memo to Cabinet on Wednesday to establish an oversight group to ensure changes are carried out within the Irish military.

An independent report published last week detailed allegations of sexual misconduct, bullying and discrimination within the Defence Forces.

The Government has pledged to set up a judge-led statutory inquiry into the allegations outlined, which ministers have expressed shock and outrage at.

Mr Martin said on Tuesday that a date has not yet been chosen on when a public inquiry would be established, but said he was liaising with the Attorney General on establishing the initial steps.

Speaking to reporters at a Fianna Fáil event in Dublin to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, Mr Martin said the aim of the group is to ensure change is enacted.

“The agenda [that] has been laid in respect of a whole range of issues to be implemented following the IRG report and other issues are followed through and implemented,” he said.

“And the key one being that on the ground within the Defence Forces, that they are seen to happen.

“There have been a lot of strategic policies and frameworks, articulated and developed but what has come back to me from people on the ground basically, is that they’re not seeing it on the ground in terms of change.

“And we need to see it manifested in terms of the rank and file members of our Navy or Army Air Corps.

“And that to me is the litmus test for the cultural transformation that has to occur here.”

“And the oversight group is a key body that will hold us all into account in terms of the implementation of these recommendations,” Mr Martin added.

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