“I’ve Heard From Nobody”

at | 31 Replies

 Majella Moynihan says she was forced to give up her child for adoption after she became pregnant with a Garda recruit and gave birth on May 31, 1985

Last night.

“The treatment of Majella Moynihan was clearly wrong on every level.”

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan

“On behalf of An Garda Síochána, I fully apologise to former Garda Majella Moynihan for the manner in which she was treated and the subsequent lifelong impact this had on her.”

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris

This morning.

“I was happy with the apology, but I feel that the apology should have come to me first, a personal apology. I’ve heard from nobody.I strongly believe and I strongly feel that both of those people should have come to me first.”

Majella Moynihan

Moynihan ‘overwhelmed’ by response to documentary (RTÉ)

Guard who became pregnant in 1980s speaks out about ‘forced adoption’ (breakingnews)

Meanwhile…

UPDATE:

This morning.

Majella gave an extensive interview to Seán O’Rourke on RTÉ Radio One’s Today with Seán O’Rourke (top).

During the near 45-minute discussion, in which Majella said she spent time in St John of God Hopsital and had attempted suicide five times over what happened to her, Mr O’Rourke asked about her case being raised (anonymously) in the Dáil with the then Minister for Justice Michael Noonan in 1985.

On June 6, 1985, the late Fine Gael TD David Moloney and Labour TD Proinsias De Rossa raised the matter with Mr Noonan.

Mr Noonan told the Dáil:

“I assume that the Deputies are referring to a case which was the subject of press reports last February.

“Under the Garda Síochána (Discipline) Regulations, 1971, the enforcement of discipline within the force is a matter for the Garda authorities and, except in cases involving dismissal which in certain circumstances require my consent, I have no function in the matter. Accordingly, it would not be appropriate for me to comment either on the specific case referred to or on the other issue raised.”

This morning, Majella and Mr O’Rourke had the following exchange about this.

Sean O’Rourke: “He [Noonan] basically said, ‘look this is internal Garda business’.”

Majella Moynihan: “That’s correct and that’s what he said to me personally as well.”

O’Rourke: “You met him afterwards?”

Moynihan:I actually rang him, spoke to him and he said ‘this is an internal Garda [matter]…'”

O’Rourke: “When did you talk to him?”

Moynihan: “It was 10 years ago.”

UPDATE:

Listen back to the interview in full here

31 thoughts on ““I’ve Heard From Nobody”

  1. Shane Duffy

    If she thinks she was treated badly by the guards she should have a read about the Heavy Gang and how they beat false confessions out of innocent men. The members of the Heavy Gang are still walking the streets just as the beauties who treated this poor woman the way they did are.

    Reply
    1. Vanessa the Holy Face of Frilly Keane

      The tracking (so far) is telling us that they had her file

      Copied it – Redacted that Copy, which was then sent to Majella on her FOI/ Personal Data request

      And they’ve now lost the original
      Either within the dirty tricks dept or on its way back to HR

      Sounds like normal procedural carry-on to me

      Reply
  2. Gabby

    “I strongly believe and I strongly feel that both of those people should have come to me first.” A radio documentary was publicly broadcast and two people with high level responsibility for Garda conduct publicly apologised. Were these two individuals or their predecessors ever privately written to before the documentary was made? When print and electronic media go public on an issue the journalists concerned generally expect a public response from authority. They certainly got an instant public response to this RTE radio documentary.

    Reply
    1. millie st murderlark

      What’s your point?

      They are capable of making a public and private apology. It doesn’t have to be either/or.

      Reply
  3. Vanessa the Holy Face of Frilly Keane

    The tracking (so far) is telling us that they had her file

    Copied it – Redacted that Copy, which was then sent to Majella on her FOI/ Personal Data request

    And they’ve now lost the original
    Either within the dirty tricks dept or on its way back to HR

    Sounds like normal procedural carry-on to me

    Reply
  4. Anomanomanom

    I’ve only recently read about this. And Ireland back then was still a very backward country, but nobody can make you give your child up. She should never have been in the position she was put in, but I think most women I know would have just quit and said rooty-tooty-tootkins to the job.

    Reply
      1. Ian-O

        And whatever about any old job, a state position with all the perks that went along with it.

        Her only other real option would have been emigration, most likely which was essentially exile.

        Reply
      2. Anomanomanom

        Quit the job and keep your baby or keep the job and quit baby. I think I know which one id choose. Again though how backward we were to put her in that position.

        Reply
        1. Daisy Chainsaw

          You can choose that now without repercussion. This was Ireland in 1985 and it’s a whole other world than present day Ireland, with little choice for women and girls who were pregnant and unmarried. Girls were expelled from school for it, women lost their jobs and there was no legal recourse for it. I have a cousin who was forced to give her first child up for adoption because she wasn’t married to the father at the time. They subsequently married and had more children together, but the marriage didn’t survive the forced adoption of their first child. Holy Catholic Ireland of the squinting windows reigned supreme and it was an exceedingly brave person who stood up to the scrutiny and shunning and in some cases condemnation from the pulpit. Ireland was run for and by old men. Women and girls had no say and it’s easy to claim you know what you’d have done in a position I’m glad you were never in in mid 80s Ireland.

          Reply
  5. Catherine costelloe

    I only heard extracts of Majellas interview and it seems her father didn’t even know she was pregnant or had given birth. Maybe she was stuck with a stark choice , keep her baby or leave her career? As a recruit she would be on early/late and night shifts ;-difficult to put it mildly for her.
    I know of several girls whose parents effectively forced them to give up their baby “what will the neighbours say” from that era, left the girls broken hearted.

    Reply
  6. Truthful Ulsterman

    Who gives a poo
    This was thirty five years ago. It is not ‘news’. Why is it on the news? Why are ‘journalists’ involved.

    Reply
  7. Truthful Ulsterman

    Who gives a heck?
    This was thirty five years ago. It is not ‘news’. Why is it on the news? Why are ‘journalists’ involved.

    Reply
    1. eoin

      Are you looking forward to the forthcoming trial of Soldier F for his role in the murder of 14 protesters in 1972?

      Reply
  8. eoin

    Has anyone seen the Irish Times (in 1984/5?) reporting this story, though it didn’t identify Majella. It would be interesting to see that article.
    Didn’t any politicians in 1984/5 think to ask the then justice minister, and current TD Michael Noonan, about the case? Was everyone in on it? Of course, the response might have been that it was an internal Garda matter, but as legislators, didn’t politicians have a duty to intervene and prevent this sort of carry-on?
    Did Majella say today that she approached Michael Noonan “10 years ago” [around 2009] about her treatment and she was told it was an internal Garda matter?
    Larry Wren was the Garda Commissioner in 1984, he died in 2016. Who was the superintendent in Harcourt Street? Name, please

    Reply
  9. Daisy Chainsaw

    Shocking as it is, it’s not exactly surprising. In 1985, women and girls were still being incarcerated in laundries for their “sins”.

    Reply
  10. Vanessa the Holy Face of Frilly Keane

    Was Proinsias Labour back in ’85?

    I thought he was SF Workers Party then

    Before Democratic Left

    As a by the by btw
    Gemma Hussey was Minister for Ed in that same Garret Fitz government
    You’d think she’d have had a spoke in somewhere
    For an alleged liberal like

    Reply
  11. scottser

    that photo of noonan. he reminds me of a cross between jabba the hut and darth vader with his helmet off.

    Reply
    1. SOQ

      He reminds me of cephalosporin-resistant gonorrhea- you just can’t get rid of him.

      Can I have the bitch of the day award please?

      Reply
    2. eoin

      I wonder why the Father of the House (the longest serving TD) in 1985 had nothing to say about this “thundering disgrace” by the Garda? The Father was none other than Oliver J Flanagan, father to the current justice minister.

      Reply

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