Chief of staff says there is inequality problem for women in Defense Forces

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The Chief of Staff of the Defense Forces Lieutenant General Sean Clancy has acknowledged that there is a problem with inequality for women in the Defense Forces, and it needs to be addressed.

The Lieut General was speaking on RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland show where he was responding to the report by the Commission on the Defense Forces.

The report was hard-hitting and blunt, he said, but he welcomed it “wholeheartedly”. Lieut General Clancy described the report as “clear and stark”, and said that “business as usual is not good enough” and that “the people of Ireland deserve better”.

A light had been shone on the negatives “and there are many” within the Defense Forces, he added, but there were also “some positives” such as the public’s trust in the forces.

Lieut Gen Clancy said he was “looking forward” and was very motivated to implement the changes recommended in the report.

When asked if he would encourage his own daughter to join the Defense Forces, he said he would. There were many “fine people” in the organization. “The vast majority” of people who served had “good, positive experiences”.

There were gaps and serious failings within the Defense Forces, he said. “But we know what they are, the Commission calls them out in a stark way.”

Cathal Berry, who spent six years in the Army Ranger Wing, told BreakingNews.ie: “If they don’t [implement some of the recommendations] it will have a devastating effect on military capability and morale, the military community’s heart has been broken a lot over the last 10 years. There have been a number of reports that were not implemented in full, or at all, if this is just another paper tiger like that it will be counterproductive.”

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