Another senator has called for the Defence Forces Chief of Staff to come before the Oireachtas to account for what he knew about abuse and sexual assaults in the armed forces.
Senator Gerard Craughwell says Lieutenant General Sean Clancy should bring his top brass with him to the Oireachtas to face questioning on the failures of the Defence Forces to protect members from abuse.
Senator Craughwell says top civil servants at the Department of Defence should be included in the delegation.
His call follows a similar appeal by the former whistleblower, Senator Tom Clonan, who first exposed rapes and sexual assaults in the army 23 years ago.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said this week that “everyone would have been aware of allegations around harassment and bullying and sexual offences in the Defence Forces”.
Lieutenant General Clancy insisted on Wednesday that it was only after the Women of Honour cases featured in an RTÉ documentary in October 2021 — just a few weeks into his promotion to Chief of Staff — that he realised the full extent of the problems.
He was asked at a Commissioning Ceremony in Dublin whether or not he had "heard or seen some of the actions" detailed in the Independent Review Group report into abuse in the Defence Forces during his almost 40-year career.
He replied: “Other than standard disciplinary impacts you will have in the workplace ... I would not have been aware of them.”
Just over 17 months ago, he was similarly asked how he could not have known about abuses highlighted by the Women of Honour.
In his answer, he stated that in the years since Dr Clonan published his report on abuse in 2000, the Defence Forces was gathering data with regards to “these types of behaviours. .. at the higher end of sexual assaults and misbehaviour”.
Senator Craughwell, who has served in the Defence Forces, said: “Lt Gn Clancy has to come in and explain himself ... but I don’t think we should just be singling him out.
“All the most senior officers need to be brought in, as should the Department of Defence's main civil servants.”
The Independent Review Group report found that women, at best, are “barely tolerated” in the Defence Forces.
At its worst, the organisation “verbally, physically, sexually and psychologically abuses women in its ranks”.