A government politician has described his late father as a “thug and bully” as he recalled growing up with domestic abuse in the home.
Fine Gael senator Tony Mulcahy spoke emotionally about how his mother was subjected to violence by his father and the impact it has had on their family.
Mr Mulcahy said he had never intended to speak publicly about his experience but felt compelled to do so due to a lack of government action.
He revealed that he left his home in 1976 but that he fears the abuse continued after that period.
“From when I can remember my father was a thug and a bully. I don’t know how my mother and brothers and sisters will react today,” Mr Mulcahy said.
“What has changed between now and 1964 – nothing. I left the house in 1976 but I believe it continued. He got older so he couldn’t do much after that,” he added.
Mr Mulcahy is a Clare-based senator who was elected to the Upper House in 2011.
During a debate at the Oireachtas Justice Committee, Mr Mulcahy said he believed violence in the home is a criminal act.
“When the guard comes to a house, he should then be investigating a crime because it is a crime then, it doesn’t become a crime after and that’s what we’ve got to do,” he told members.
“We have got to empower the guard to take his statement then, give his own version as a witness statement, photograph the scene of the crime.
“I’ve seen one or two of them and I witnessed it in my own house, right, at the time – and if the victim is willing for that, she, he or the children, whoever the case may be should be photographed at that stage as well and a doctor should be called immediately.”
Niall O'Connor, Political Correspondent