Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Irish army 'poster girl' steps into civvy street

Lieutenant Collette McBarron

Irish army poster girl Collette McBarron is to become a civilian again today — leaving her controversial days in the defence forces behind her.

The former Miss Ireland finalist resigned following an onslaught of newspaper reports that detailed her partying antics and romantically linked her with some of Ireland’s top sports stars.

In recent weeks, the 23-year-old was snapped out on the town in Dublin while she was supposed to be at home on sick leave. The controversial officer was caught on camera socialising with English rugby ace Tom Croft (inset) following the Ireland v England match at Croke Park on February 28.

An Irish Army spokesperson said “because the onus was on her to get better and not to be out partying we decided she should spend the remainder of her sick leave in the barracks”.

“During that time Ms McBarron absented herself from the barracks. It was only when she returned that she informed her superiors of her wishes to resign.”

Ms McBarron’s request was sent to the cabinet last Monday and takes seven days to be processed. As of today the young Second Lieutenant of the 2nd Infantry Battalion will be a free woman.

It’s not the first time McBarron has crossed swords with her superiors. In January, the young officer was court-martialled for dereliction of duty but escaped being thrown out of the Defence Forces after she admitted abandoning her post and then trying to cover it up.

McBarron was severely reprimanded in September 2007 after pleading guilty to illegally leaving her base for several hours while on security duty.

In recent months she has also been linked with controversial boxer Kenny Egan. It was claimed Kenny’s famous disappearing act was a result of being dumped by Collette.

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