The trial of a couple accused of the female genital mutilation (FGM) of their daughter has heard the accused woman was a victim of the practice when she was a child.
The couple, who cannot be named for legal reasons, both pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to one count of carrying out an act of FGM on a then one-year-old girl at an address in Dublin on September 16th, 2016.
The 37-year-old man and 27-year-old woman also pleaded not guilty to one count of child cruelty on the same day.
On the fifth day of the trial, Detective Inspector Danny Kelly told John Byrne BL, prosecuting, that the accused woman attended a Garda station on September 22nd, 2016, and answered a number of questions.
Det Insp Kelly said it was put to the accused woman by gardaí that consultants at the hospital which treated her daughter believed that the child was a victim of FGM. The woman replied that she thought that was wrong and was not happy about it.
The accused woman told gardaí she felt the doctors said her daughter had a “circumcision” because she is a Muslim, she is black and in her country “they do that”.
Det Insp Kelly said the woman was arrested on December 13rd, 2016 and interviewed by gardaí on several occasions.
The accused woman told gardaí she was from Somalia. She said that FGM was practiced in Somalia and she had been a victim of it.
She told gardaí it happened to her at a young age and she was not informed what would happen. She said she lived at the time in her grandmother’s house and there were a lot of women in the house “as if it was a party”.
The accused woman told gardaí that a woman sat on her back, two further women held her legs and another woman carried out FGM on her.
She said the woman used a blade and that while she did not know the type of FGM it was, it involved “cutting and stitching”.
She told gardaí that a sharp object did not cause her daughter’s injury and that it was caused by a toy. She said there was blood on the toy after her daughter fell on it, but that she had since cleaned the toy.
The accused woman told gardaí that she was not lying and she had no reason to hide any person.
She said that no one has performed FGM on her daughter and the injury was caused by the toy.
The trial continues before Judge Elma Sheahan and a jury.