Ombudsman for the Defence Forces

Ombudsman for the Defence Forces website goes live

16 June 2006

Ombudsman for the Defence Forces, Paulyn Marrinan Quinn, SC, launched her Office’s website www.odf.ie on 16 June 2006.

According to Ms. Marrinan Quinn, www.odf.ie is a one-stop-shop where current and former members of the Defence Forces and the Reserve Defence Forces can access information about the role and function of the Ombudsman for the Defence Forces. The website enables people to lodge complaints on-line. Alternatively, the website also provides the guidance necessary to submit written complaints to the Ombudsman.

Since the Office was officially established in December last year, I have been anxious to ensure that all members of the Defence Forces are aware of the Office, its remit and function. I have so far visited a number of military installations to meet directly with Defence Force members of all ranks and intend to continue to engage with the members of the Defence Forces and Reserve Defence Forces to facilitate an understanding of the scope and limits of my role and powers. The feedback and knowledge I am gaining from these tours is of immense importance.

In addition, the Office has produced a suite of information materials and www.odf.ie is one important facet of that work. The Office has also produced an Explanatory Leaflet which is being widely distributed among serving and former members of the Defence Forces. Information is also available in Braille and audio format.

The Ombudsman for the Defence Forces will be a challenging and exciting role. When the legislation establishing the Office was introduced in Dail Eireann, the then Minister for Defence, Michael Smith, TD, stated that it was 'a major historical milestone in the modernisation of redress procedures.' My task is to ensure that this objective becomes a reality. I hope that www.odf.ie will play an important role in the communications function of the Office, concluded Ms. Marrinan Quinn.

Ends.

Note for Editors:

The Ombudsman for the Defence Forces was established by law through the Ombudsman (Defence Forces) Act 2004. The Ombudsman provides serving and former members of the Defence Forces and the Reserve Defence Forces with a rigorous, independent and fair appeal for complaints they believe have not been adequately addressed by the internal military complaints process. The Office became operational on 1st December 2005.