Tuesday 23 July 2019

Charlie Flanagan apologises to Majella Moynihan

The former garda faced dismissal in the 1980s after having a child out of wedlock.

Irish Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan has apologised to Majella Moynihan (Michelle Devane/PA)
Irish Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan has apologised to Majella Moynihan (Michelle Devane/PA)

By Michael McHugh, Press Association

The Irish Justice Minister has apologised to a former garda who faced dismissal in the 1980s after having a child while unmarried.

Charlie Flanagan said what happened to Majella Moynihan was “clearly wrong” on every level.

He added: “As a young garda, Ms Moynihan faced an appalling ordeal at a time in Ireland that was sadly too often characterised by stigma and intolerance.”

On Saturday Ms Moynihan spoke publicly for the first time about her ordeal in an RTE Radio One documentary.

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris also offered an apology.

Mr Flanagan said: “I have spoken to Commissioner Harris and I welcome his apology to Ms Majella Moynihan on behalf of An Garda Siochana.

“I echo that apology in my capacity as Minister for Justice and Equality.”

Ms Moynihan was charged with breaching Garda rules after having premarital sex with another officer and having a child when she was 22.

An aggressive line of questioning by senior officers at the time probed into her sexual history and use of contraceptives.

Ms Moynihan kept her job following the intervention of the archbishop of Dublin, who believed sacking her would cause more gardai to travel to England for abortions in similar circumstances.

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