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As a woman in the Army, I love it – but we need to hold a mirror up to shortcomings

Women in the Defence Forces say the organisation has not brushed allegations under the carpet 

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Lt Lauren Cusack (Aer Corps), P/O Sharon Darby (Naval Service) and Lt Col Jayne Lawlor (Army) pictured in McKee Barracks in Dublin. Picture by Gerry Mooney.

Lt Lauren Cusack (Aer Corps), P/O Sharon Darby (Naval Service) and Lt Col Jayne Lawlor (Army) pictured in McKee Barracks in Dublin. Picture by Gerry Mooney.

Lt Lauren Cusack (Aer Corps), P/O Sharon Darby (Naval Service) and Lt Col Jayne Lawlor (Army) pictured in McKee Barracks in Dublin. Picture by Gerry Mooney.

As the only female lieutenant colonel in the Defence Forces, Jayne Lawlor is unique. “You just get used to it,” she explains.

But of course I want to see more women in the Defence Forces. The first thing is visibility. We need visibility so that girls in school realise what women can do in the Defence Forces. There is a real sense of adventure. I’ve had 25 years of a life less ordinary. I can’t think of any other job that gives you the same opportunities.”


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