Senior military officer being investigated over alleged inappropriate behaviour

The officer has denied the behaviour, which allegedly occurred overseas some time ago

An internal investigation has been launched into allegations of inappropriate behaviour by a senior Defence Forces officer.

The officer is alleged to have made inappropriate comments to a female colleague while both were stationed overseas.

It is understood he has strenuously denied the allegations and has acquired legal representation. In line with standard Defence Forces procedure, the officer has not been suspended.

The investigation was launched after the female Defence Forces member came forward with a complaint about an allegation that occurred some time ago.


Members of the Military Police are involved in the investigation. If proven, the allegation may form an offence under military law. However, a preliminarily assessment has determined it is unlikely to be an offence under civilian law.

As a result, it is being handled internally rather than being transferred to the Garda for investigation as per regulations introduced last year.

The subject of the investigation is a senior officer with a long career in the Defence Forces.

A Defence Forces spokesman declined to provide further detail or comment, saying only: “Due to an ongoing investigation it would be inappropriate for us to comment.”

The organisation has been the subject of multiple allegations of abuse, discrimination and bullying within its ranks in recent years, particularly against women.

Many of these allegations were first raised in 2022 by a group of female veterans known as the Women of Honour. This led the Government to commission the Independent Review Group report which found widespread sexual harassment and bullying in the military as well as allegations of rape and sexual assault.

Since the report’s publication last year, the Government has committed to establishing a judge-led statutory inquiry. The inquiry, which will be led by Ms Justice Ann Power will be wide-ranging and have the power to compel witnesses to attend.

As well as examining allegations of abuse, it will look at complaints of the unsafe handling of chemical materials within the Air Corps.

The Women of Honour have raised concerns about the terms of reference, which will not allow the inquiry to examine individual complaints.

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher is Crime and Security Correspondent of The Irish Times