Breaking Down Barriers: Defence Forces launch ‘Defend with Pride’ LGBTA Network

Date Published : October 11th, 2016    Published By : admin

The Defence Forces added an important and much anticipated aspect to its Dignity Charter today with the launch of ‘Defend with Pride’, the Irish Defence Forces LFBTA Network.

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Allies Network is a resource for all personnel within the Defence Forces. Its aims are to provide support, information and guidance to LGBT members and their Allies.

Chief of Staff Mark Mellett with 'Defend with Pride' LGBTA Network committee.
Photo: Irish Defence Forces

The official launch of ‘Defend with Pride’ took place at the DFTC at The Curragh, Co. Kildare earlier today. Vice Admiral Mark Mellett DSM joined a number of guest speakers including Mr Brian Sheehan, Executive Director of GLEN and Ms Catherine Vaughan, Senior Manager at Ernst & Young.

The Chief of Staff highlighted the importance of diversity for both the personnel and the organisation. He said "The provision and fostering of a diverse and inclusive workplace environment, reflective of Irish society is our Moral Duty and, for the Defence Forces, it means better decision making, better agility, better resilience."

Chief of Staff speaking at the launch
Pic: Defence Forces via Twitter

The ‘Defend with Pride’ Network will provide a platform for LGBTA members to interact trough social networking events and further aims to educate serving members on LGBTA matters and act as a source of expertise on LGBT affairs for the Defence Forces.

Including ‘Defend with Pride’ into the Defence Forces Dignity Charter breaks down alot barriers within the male dominated organisation, and one which Vice Admiral has welcomed and supports strongly.

Defence Forces LGBTA Network Chairperson Sgt Richard Muldarry
Pic: Defence Forces via Twitter

The official launch is also part of the Defence Forces involvement with GLEN's Diversity Champions Programme and the launch coincided with ‘National Coming Out Day’ today.

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