Calls in Seanad for criminalising of domestic violence

FG Senator says he made ’a statement about my family situation’ at Oireachtas committee

The Seanad Chamber at Leinster House. Photograph: Alan Betson

The Seanad Chamber at Leinster House. Photograph: Alan Betson


Domestic violence should be criminalised, Fine Gael Senator Tony Mulcahy has said.

He told the Seanad he had made “a statement about my family situation’’ at a meeting of the Oireachtas justice, defence and equality committee on Wednesday.

“Following that, I had to telephone my mother and my three brothers and sisters who did not know what I was going to say. I did not know what I was going to say myself, but it is something that we needed to publicise.’’

Mr Mulcahy said that one man at the meeting had referred to the 1990s when reviews and reports were carried out. “I am aged 54 and I was able to take him back to 1964 or 1965. I can vaguely remember the first incident but they continued after that.’’

Mr Mulcahy asked his colleagues to help him draft legislation criminalising domestic violence.

Terry Brennan (FG) said he had been subjected to violence, not in the home, but in school and on the football field in his young days. “When one did not pass the ball properly one had to drop one’s togs and one was given six or 10 of the best across the ‘you know what’ with a cane that length.’’

Michael Mullins (FG) congratulated Mr Mulcahy on his honesty in highlighting domestic violence. “It took much courage but, knowing him for a long time, he is a straight talker and always calls it as it is.’’

Diarmuid Wilson (FF) said Mr Mulcahy had made an honest contribution at the committee meeting and Fianna Fáil would support him in drafting legislation. “It not only affects women and children but also men, a point some forget. Men are bullied and beaten in their homes.’’