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A Woman in Defence

On sale

26th January 2023

Price: £14.99

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Selected: Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781399712309

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‘A searing, honest and courageous account of professional soldiering in a toxic military culture’ Senator Tom Clonan, retired army captain

During her 31-year career as a soldier in the Irish Defence Forces, Karina Molloy achieved many firsts.

First female to get promoted to Senior Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) rank. First to attempt the Army Ranger Wing selection course – Ireland’s SAS equivalent – when it was considered impossible for women. And, to date, Karina has the most overseas service as a female senior NCO.

But despite a pioneering career, she faced many setbacks in an institution rife with misogyny – from sexual assault to routine bullying to promotional glass ceilings. And yet she persevered.

From Lebanon to Eritrea to Bosnia, A Woman in Defence is the often shocking story of a determined soldier who forged her way in a man’s world, and who continues to fight to make the army a safer and more equitable place for women. What emerges is a damning exposé of a venerable Irish institution which has failed to defend and protect its own.


Irish Times
Molloy's recollections are delivered with an arresting mix of in-your-face military precision and an emotional intelligence that provide an absorbing, poignant and often shocking account of her time in the Defence Forces
RTÉ Guide
Clear-eyed and unsentimental, A Woman in Defence is a sobering and timely testament
Sunday Independent
The picture that Molloy paints of the Irish army is far from flattering. She was sexually assaulted, bullied, ridiculed and belittled, with obstacles placed in the way of every promotion