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17/10/2021

Curragh Camp whistleblower reveals he will also meet with Women of Honour whistleblower contact

Kildare soldier facing homelessness as Defence Forces wages and poverty under fire

File photo via the Permanent Irish Defence Forces

A former Permanent Defence Forces (PDF) soldier turned Curragh Camp whistleblower has revealed that he will meet with government's Confidential Contact Person (CCP).

The CCP works with a Kildare-based organisation known as Raiseaconcern, who, according to its site, is dedicated to advising on and operating whistleblowing schemes for employers.

Raiseaconcern was recently appointed by Minister for Defence and Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney to assist both current and former members of the PDF who have been affected by alleged bullying and sexual abuse while serving in the army, including those that detailed their alleged experiences in the Women of Honour (WOH) radio programme.

Speaking to host Clem Ryan on KFM Radio station, former PDF Sergeant Anthony O' Brien said that he will be meeting with the CCP on October 19 to detail his alleged experiences.

Mr O' Brien, who served for a total of 22 years on the Curragh Camp, said that all information given to the CCP "will be treated in the strictest confidence."

When asked about recent comments from newly appointed PDF Chief of Staff Seán Clancy, in which he condemned instances of alleged abuse within the army, Mr O' Brien said that while he "does not doubt" the sincerity of Lt Gnl Clancy, he stressed that it was his belief that no substantial changes have been made within the PDF.

"I recall the Chief of Staff at the time twenty years ago saying the exact same thing," he added.

"With the WOH programme, serving females today also came forward, so it's still going on."

He also wanted to emphasise that the alleged army abuse involves male survivors and child survivors, in addition to female survivors at the PDF.

Mr O' Brien explained: "I will not let the Dept (of Defence) say it's just about the female abuse; there's adult and child sex abuse, and there was a cover up, and that needs to be addressed."

He also acknowledged to Clem Ryan that a lot of the alleged survivors would be reluctant to discuss details of alleged abuse as they would not want to go through the trauma of it all for a second time.

Mr O' Brien advised anyone with information relating to alleged abuse in the PDF to call 01 610 7929.

He finished his interview by thanking KFM for consistently reporting on the topic of alleged abuse in the PDF.

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