Women of Honour welcome meeting with Taoiseach after 'mishandling' by Coveney

ireland
Women Of Honour Welcome Meeting With Taoiseach After 'Mishandling' By Coveney Women Of Honour Welcome Meeting With Taoiseach After 'Mishandling' By Coveney
The group, which has alleged bullying, misogyny and violence within the Irish armed forces said it is “deeply disillusioned” following a meeting with the Minister for Defence. Photo: PA Images
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The Women of Honour group have said they welcome the decision by Taoiseach Micheál Martin to meet with them next week after what they have described as a "mishandling" by Minister for Defence Simon Coveney.

The group, which has alleged bullying, misogyny and violence within the Irish armed forces said it is “deeply disillusioned” following a meeting with the Minister for Defence.

The had Government announced that it will establish a judge-led independent review to look at issues related to sexual misconduct, bullying, harassment and discrimination in the Defence Forces.

However, such an approach was rejected in the strongest terms by the Women of Honour group, the members of which walked out early from a meeting with Simon Coveney on Tuesday.

The group said that Mr Coveney has attempted to whitewash the issue.

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"The circumstances of Women of Honour and countless other serving and former members of the Defence Forces involve issues surrounding dignity in the workplace, bullying, harassment, discrimination, assault, sexual harassment and sexual assault," Women of Honour said in a statement.

"These issues remain in the Defence Forces and are still unfortunately real and live.

"That is why we are so devastated by Minister’s Coveney’s attempt at whitewashing."

According to the group, the issues they have raised require a legal process and not a review.

"A one-year-long administrative review does not have the statutory protections required for such sensitive investigations to be effective and is just kicking the can down the road of pointlessness.

"The group appointed do not have the tools to compel attendance by witnesses or documents.

Disgracefully, Minister Coveney arrived to the meeting yesterday with terms of reference that had the words final stamped all over them. He then tried to stamp all over us.

"The members of the group were also a fait accompli yesterday.

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"No input or questioning was allowed by us and the understanding had always been that a process would be established first and then the terms of reference would be considered.

"The Minister has blackguarded and disrespected us given the nature of our personal disclosures."

The Taoiseach is now due to meet Women of Honour next week.

-Additional reporting by PA

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