Sunday, July 19, 2015

Whistleblowers surface in Irish Defence Forces

The Irish Sunday Mirror reports that whistleblowers have surfaced with tales of varying kinds of misconduct in the Irish Defence Forces. Excerpt:
Three separate whistleblowers have come forward with shocking claims to expose an army which they say is nothing short of a shambles. 
But young soldiers’ concerns are continually dismissed and morale within the force is at an all-time low, the Irish Sunday Mirror can reveal. 
This week three brave officers – two of whom are lower-ranked while one has retired – made claims that: 
  • Legal proceedings have been launched against the Defence Force by officers who claim their lives have been put at risk;
  • Bullying is rife among troops and young privates were told by senior officers they would return from tours abroad in body bags;
  • Female officers are routinely harassed and on one occasion a soldier was accused of placing his genitals on the face of a female colleague as she slept;
  • A corporal is to face a military court in a serious sexual harassment case. 
In one shocking case, a young soldier on a tour of duty in Lebanon claimed his life was put in danger when commanding officers broke strict rules and brought their armoured vehicle through an area riddled with explosives.

The private told his officer it was dangerous to go off the set track, but he was ignored and the convoy continued on a dirt track which was a notorious Hezbollah booby trap hotspot.
The article has a breathless tone and strings together very different kinds of issues. Whether there is fire as well as smoke remains to be seen. If any reader in Ireland can provide a reality-check, please comment. (Real names only, please.)

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