UL Video series: A female perspective of life in the Irish army

The context

Only one in fifteen people in the Defence Forces are women according to figures released last year.

This video report looks at life in the Defence Forces from the perspective of Private Rebecca Coogan, who joined in 2012, and Captain Ciara Ní Ruairc, who joined in 2005.

It was shot in The Curragh Camp, Co. Kildare.

Women were first permitted to join the army in 1981 and we zoom into the present day to see how far they have come since then.

Civilian, barber and local historian, Reggie Darling, remembers when women first joined the Defence Forces in the Curragh.

The report lifts the lid on these Private Coogan and Captain Ní Ruairc’s reasons for joining the Defence Forces and what it’s like to work somewhere where the majority of your colleagues are men.

With Nasa’s first all-female spacewalk being cancelled earlier this year due to spacesuit size issues Rebecca says the Defence Forces are “getting better” at keeping women in mind when designing uniforms and equipment.

Commandant Gavin Egerton tells us the three main reasons why it is important to have women in the army.

Private Coogan and Captain Ní Ruairc reveal their career highlights to date and Private Coogan tells us about serving overseas in the Golan Heights - working on post in a Syrian conflict zone.

Captain Ní Ruairc says that the Defence Forces is a “lifelong learning organisation” and as such it continues to grow and adapt with the times.

Private Coogan concludes: “There is no reason why women shouldn’t join.”

The video

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