Defence Forces dismiss claims officer acted inappropriately by speaking on mobile phone during 1916 wreath laying
Published 27/03/2016 | 18:40
THE DEFENCE Forces have dismissed claims that one of their officers acted inappropriately during yesterday’s 1916 commemorations.
A soldier was filmed talking on his mobile phone as President Michael D Higgins was preparing to lay a commemorative wreath outside the GPO.
The moment was captured by one eagle-eyed RTE viewer who screen grabbed the shot and shared it online.
The image soon garnered much attention; while most people found it mildly amusing, others said the soldier had acted in a disrespectful manner.
However, a spokesperson for the military said their officer was doing his job.
The officer was in a media cordon and surrounded by members of the press and photographers at the time the picture was taken.
A spokesperson said he was handling a query from a journalist when the picture was taken. He also dismissed the idea that his actions were out of line. “The officer in the picture is a member of the Defence Forces Press Office and was taking a call from the media at the time as part of his duties,” a spokesperson said.
“He is positioned in the Media position in front of the GPO and was tasked with providing the media with information about our participation in the events.”