GRA distances itself from implication Majella Moynihan had done wrong

‘We would expect our ban-ghardaí to be moral in every way’, head of Garda representative body said in 1985

“Majella Moynihan  laid bare a litany of shocking and disgraceful behaviours on the part of the Garda Siochana,” the GRA said.  File photograph: RTE

“Majella Moynihan laid bare a litany of shocking and disgraceful behaviours on the part of the Garda Siochana,” the GRA said. File photograph: RTE

 

The organisation representing rank-and-file gardaí has distanced itself from comments made by its former general secretary about the Majella Moynihan case in 1985.

Ms Moynihan was 22 when she was charged under Garda Síochána regulations of having premarital sex with another garda and a second count of having given “birth to a child outside wedlock”. She broke her silence in an RTÉ documentary at the weekend.

Speaking after news of the case broke in 1985, then Garda Representative Association (GRA) general secretary Jack Marrinan said the association “certainly would not encourage our female members to think that this is a normal condition for them to get into, out of wedlock”.

“We would expect our ban-ghardaí to be moral in every way and we would not think that their morals are always or necessarily their own private business,” he added.

A spokesman for the association said “the GRA of today distances itself from any implication that Majella had done anything wrong and would robustly defend any attempt to victimise a woman on the grounds that led to the disciplinary hearing against her”. The association is also seeking a full transcript of the programme, it said.

The GRA said it is “appalled” at the treatment of Ms Moynihan, who was threatened with disciplinary action for having a baby outside marriage.

The representative body said it wished to to express “its highest admiration for the dignity and bravery of former Garda Majella Moynihan who this weekend revealed details of her mistreatment at the hands of An Garda Síochána in the 1980s”.

“In speaking publicly about her ordeal as a pregnant single woman, Majella laid bare a litany of shocking and disgraceful behaviours on the part of the Garda Síochána – including some of her colleagues.”

The association said the experiences endured by Ms Moynihan were “a product of a time in which people in a position of power were influenced by social values which had a profound disregard for women.

“We also note the child’s father was subject to a disciplinary hearing in which Majella was called as a witness, which is another disgraceful aspect of this shocking episode.”