08 Mar 2016 - Defence Forces 30 Woman Guard Of Honour.

Female soldiers, sailors and airwomen of the Defence Forces took part in the International Women's Day event today in Royal Hospital Kilmainham, including a 30 woman, tri-service Captain's Guard Of Honour led by Captain Danielle Murphy, to commemorate the role of women in the events of the 1916 Rising.

Lieutenant Colonel Mary Carroll, Officer Commanding An Chéad Cathlán Choisithe (1st Infantry Battalion) and a member of the Ireland 2016 'Women's Workshop' said;


'Today we are honouring the role of women in 1916. Considering universal suffrage was not wide place at the time, they broke the mould for women with their bravery. Margaret Skinnider, who lead men in combat during the Rising said "they were fighting for the same right to risk their lives as the men." When I first started in the military in 1982 there was so few of us. Aside from the Medical Corps, the first female Cadets and Recruits started in 1980.  While other militaries do not permit women in front line roles, the Irish Defence Forces have had female bomb disposal officers, snipers, pilots, APC Commanders. Women have held appointments as Ship's Captains and Infantry Units overseas. We are moving forward positively.' 


Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces Vice Admiral Mark Mellett DSM, who also attended the event, said;

''This is a fantastic day for the women of Óglaigh na hÉireann.  There are currently 557 women in the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service, representing 6.1% of our overall strength. Óglaigh na hÉireann are committed, openly and unambiguously to increasing the number of women in our organisation.

Further female participation and increased diversity in any organisation, including the military, improves operational reach as well as providing a counter weight against the increasing complexity we face."


It is expected that the Defence Forces will be accepting applications for Cadets and General Service Recruitment in the coming year , supported by a social media campaign aimed at encouraging young women to join the Defence Forces.


Press Release Date:  Tuesday 08 Mar 2016

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