A soldier was tied up, had barbed wire strung around his toes, and was subjected to a number of electric shocks to his feet and chest as a group of up to 30 of his colleagues looked on.
The treatment meted out to the man was also videoed on a camera phone by one of the onlookers.
The Defence Forces confirmed military police are investigating the alleged incident following a complaint made by a serving army member. It’s understood they have interviewed the victim, a soldier in his 30s with a number of years’ service. They have also taken statements from personnel who witnessed the incident at The Curragh.
The victim told the Irish Examiner that first cable ties were used to tie him down on the ground to tent pegs.
“They took off my shoes and socks and put barbed wire around my two big toes. They then hooked that up to a field telephone which [when wound up] gave me the electric shocks.
“They shocked me three or four times. One individual then took the barbed wire off my two toes and put it to my chest and I got shocked again,” he said.
“They all thought it was a bit of a laugh.”
The soldier described it as “a bad prank which went wrong”.
After the incident he took a few days off but has since returned to work.
The victim said he also contacted gardaí, but as he is a serving soldier and the incident took place on army-owned land it is within military jurisdiction and that is why the investigation is being handled by military police.
A senior military source said the army is “treating the incident very seriously”.
He said the military authorities “acted swiftly after the incident came to our attention recently”.
Once military police have completed their investigations they will send a file to the General Officer Commanding the military formation involved.
Depending on the findings, charges could be prepared on individuals who would be remanded to a Courts-Martial.
The organisation which represents rank-and-file members of the Defences Forces PDFORRA said it wouldn’t comment on individual cases, especially as an investigation was under way.
However, PDFORRA general secretary Gerry Rooney said his organisation did come across cases of bullying and harassment within the military.
“It’s an unfortunate fact of life that bullying and harassment happen in all workplaces. We are happy that there are very good systems in place in general [in the Defence Forces] to deal with bullying and harassment.
“But it often takes an organisation or association like a union to assure procedures are complied with.”
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