Defence Minister Micheál Martin has been accused of turning his back on survivors of toxic chemical exposure while serving in the Air Corps.
They say they have asked for direct engagement with him before agreement on the format of a statutory inquiry related to Defence Forces abuse allegations is reached.
Mr Martin has been holding meetings with representatives of serving and former Defence Forces personnel.
Those not invited to such meetings are instead emailed what the Air Corps Chemical Abuse Survivors (ACCAS) describe as round-robin and impersonal “Dear Stakeholder” updates by civil servants.
One of the latest face-to-face meetings with Mr Martin was last Thursday and it was with the Women of Honour group.
They featured in RTE’s Katie Hannon’s expose in 2021, which led to the launch of the Independent Review Group investigation into allegations of sexual abuses in the Defence Forces.
The review group’s report in March included allegations of both male and female soldiers being raped, sexually assaulted, and bullied.
However, while the Women of Honour did not give evidence to the review group, ACCAS did.
The extent of abuse they allege they suffered was so extensive the report recommended their allegations should feature in a statutory investigation.
Like members of Women of Honour, a number of ACCAS members are also suing over abuse they allege they endured.
The ACCAS say the Defence Minister’s failure to engage with them contrasts with a meeting he had with them in June 2017 when he vowed to support their cause “because it is the right thing to do”
Read full article by Neil Michael on Irish Examiner website…https://www.irishexaminer.com/news/arid-41181115.html
34 men and 1 woman have died prematurely since Martin stood up in the Dáil and called for a public inquiry into the Air Corps toxic chemical exposure scandal on the 1st of February 2017.
Some of these serving & former personnel could have been saved by awareness campaigns and risk specific medical interventions, since he gained power Martin has chose to let suffere & die unnecessarily.
Martin has failed to respond to requests for meetings with survivors since he came to power despite precedent where previous Minister’s for Defence such as Simon Coveney & Paul Kehoe met with the same personnel.
Absolutely nothing has been done to provide targeted healthcare for exposed personnel since this date despite damning findings by the HSA which the Department of Defence and the defence forces continue to try to downplay.
Delay – Deny – Die