Former soldiers tell their stories of abuse while serving in Defence Forces

Allegations range from sexual assault, rape and even child abuse at Curragh Camp

Anthony O’Brien, a former sergeant in the Defence Forces, who is a whistleblower about abuse in the army. ‘I wanted them to know about this stuff. I want something to happen for these victims.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Anthony O’Brien, a former sergeant in the Defence Forces, who is a whistleblower about abuse in the army. ‘I wanted them to know about this stuff. I want something to happen for these victims.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Anthony O’Brien was a young soldier in the 1980s when he was told to drive a commandant home from the Curragh Camp. Once on the Kildare back roads, the officer put his hand on O’Brien’s knee “and moved it right up towards my privates”.

“I told him to get off me and he asked me what I was going to do,” O’Brien recalled. “I told him I was going to crash this saloon if he didn’t get his hand off my leg. And that he could explain what happened in the report. He just whipped his hand off me and said ‘you’re no f***ing fun, O’Brien’.”

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