Garda Commissioner and Minister apologise in person to Majella Moynihan

Drew Harris met former garda who had been investigated after becoming pregnant

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris met Majella Moynihan on Thursday. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris met Majella Moynihan on Thursday. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

 

Majella Moynihan, the former garda forced from her job and prosecuted for giving birth out of wedlock, has received face-to-face apologies from Garda Commissioner Drew Harris and Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan.

Ms Moynihan was 22 when she was prosecuted in the mid-1980s after having premarital sex with another garda. She subsequently gave her son up for adoption.

Details of her story came back into the public spotlight following a recent radio documentary on her experience.

In a statement on Friday, Mr Harris said: “I was pleased to meet Ms Moynihan yesterday and offer her a fulsome apology in person on behalf of An Garda Síochána. ”

Separately, the Department of Justice issued a statement saying the Minister “was pleased to have the opportunity to meet with Ms Moynihan this week and to offer her an apology in person for the ordeal she endured as a young garda in the 1980s”.

Both Mr Flanagan and Mr Harris had previously issued statements apologising for her treatment.

It emerged during the week that Ms Moynihan had appointed a solicitor with a view to possibly suing the State for damages arising from her treatment.

Such a case would seek to recover her full pension, as well as lost earnings. Ms Moynihan has said that senior officers told her in later years her career was effectively ended by the incident. She later tried to take her own life on numerous occasions.

Her solicitor could not be immediately reached for comment on how her case might now proceed.