Thursday 18 July 2019

'Wrong on every level' - Taoiseach reacts to treatment of former garda Majella Moynihan

Majella Moynihan asked for an apology
Majella Moynihan asked for an apology
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

TAOISEACH Leo Varadkar has described the treatment of former garda Majella Moynihan by senior figures in the force as “wrong on every level”.

He said there could well be other women who were put in similar positions to Ms Moyihan.

She became pregnant outside of wedlock after joining An Garda Síochána in the 1980s and was shamed into giving up her baby son for adoption.

Ms Moyihan from Kanturk, Co Cork was subjected to an investigation and threatened with dismissal.

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris and Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan have apologised to her since she went public as part of an RTÉ documentary at the weekend.

In the Dáil, Mr Varadkar said her story has “gripped the nation in the last few year”.

He said it gave a “further insight into our country and our past”.

“She was made to feel shame. The way she was penalised was deeply sexist.

“It does demonstration to us how much our country and our state has changed since 1984,” Mr Varadkar said.

Ms Moyniahn left the force in 1998 over a decade after she was charged with premarital sex and giving birth outside of marriage.

Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald said the State has an obligation to ensure Ms Moynihan is awarded a full pension.

She called on the Justice Minister to establish whether other women in the force were treated in a similar way.

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