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The Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Seán Clancy has welcomed the appointment of Mr Peter Ward SC to examine the administration of cases involving Defence Forces personnel convicted of criminal offences

Senior Counsel’s recommendations on the management of serving personnel who are before the civilian courts or have received a conviction, will offer clarity on how Óglaigh na hÉierann can handle cases involving these personnel. The appointment will also provide independent and comprehensive guidance to improve and strengthen the current regulatory framework.
Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Seán Clancy has stated:
“I agree with the remarks by An Tánaiste regarding the unacceptable presence of personnel with serious convictions including gender-based violence within the Defence Forces. Such individuals have no place in our ranks. The Defence Forces are committed to the highest standards of conduct and integrity. My commitment to these standards has not waned. My actions have been guided by our dedication to transparency and accountability. We owe it to the bravery of individuals like Natasha O'Brien, to those impacted within our own organisation and to the values we stand for to ensure that no one within the Defence Forces can avoid the consequences of their actions.”
The Chief of Staff convened a meeting of all Unit Commanders throughout the organisation to reinforce this message and to reaffirm his total commitment to the transformation of the Defence Forces into a modern force where our organisational culture is underpinned by dignity, equality and mutual respect. He was accompanied by the Assistant Chief of Staff and by the Director of Legal Services who outlined the current powers vested in them under regulation.
Speaking directly to the members of Óglaigh na hÉireann, Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Seán Clancy has stated:
"Let this moment be a wake up for us all. We must reaffirm our commitment to the highest standards of conduct and ensure that our ranks are filled with individuals who uphold the values we cherish. Together, we will face these challenges head-on, a transparent organisation not shying away from hard truths, but addressing them with the courage and integrity that is the foundation of Óglaigh na hÉireann. I am committed to addressing all issues and making positive changes for the future. This change is happening, and this organisation is transforming into a modern Defence Force where our organisational culture is underpinned by dignity, equality and mutual respect. We must not let the actions of a few overshadow the dedicated service of the many." 
Note to Editor
The Defence Forces has not stood still and is responding to the serious internal cultural issues raised by the IRG report. The Defence Forces are determined to change the negative aspects of our culture. Amongst the initiatives undertaken are:
  • A civilian Head of Strategic Human Resources and Head of Transformation have been appointed to the Defence Forces Board.
  • An external review of the Defence Forces internal complaints procedure has been undertaken with the next step to fundamentally redesign the process imminent.
  • The Defence Forces now passes all complaints of alleged sexual offences in the State directly to An Garda Síochána for investigation.
  • The Defence Forces has developed and rolled out Sexual Ethics and Responsible Relationship workshops in cooperation with UCC and the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, which is mandatory for all our people.
  • The Defence Forces has rolled out mandatory Gender Diversity and Unconscious Bias training to all our people.