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Dublin: 17 °C Thursday 28 August, 2014

‘My father was a thug and a bully’: Applause for Senator after domestic abuse speech

The Fine Gael Senator received a round of applause from colleagues after an emotional contribution to the committee hearing this evening.


(Video: OireachtasRetortTV/YouTube)

“FROM WHAT I can remember, my father was a thug and a bully.”

This is how Fine Gael Senator Tony Mulcahy began his contribution to an Oireachtas Committee this evening, that was discussing submissions received on domestic and sexual violence.

In an emotional speech, Mulcahy told his colleagues he was not sure how his family would react to his sharing these personal details but said he thought nothing had changed in Ireland since then with regards to this issue.

“What’s perpetrated at the time is an absolute assault, right, and it is a criminal act…and we need to treat it as a criminal act,” he said.

Mulcahy said he believed more power should be given to gardaí, as first responders to these incidents, and that community courts, or peace commissioners should be more involved in automatically signing arrest warrants as soon as an assault occurs.

When the guard comes to a house, he should then be investigating a crime because it is a crime then, it doesn’t become a crime after and that’s what we’ve got to do – we’ve got to empower the guard to take his statement then, give his own version as a witness statement, photograph the scene of the crime – and by jaysus I’ve seen one or two of them and I witnessed it in my own house, right, at the time – and if the victim is willing for that, she, he or the children, whoever the case may be should be photographed at that stage as well and a doctor should be called immediately.

That’s when you set the bar. And I don’t want to go along with ‘where are we going to house the woman that has to leave the house with the children?’. The criminal is the guy that should be taken out of the house or a woman as the case may be because, in that event as well, we need to remove the criminal from the house and then we’d solve a lot of the housing problems. And if these people knew that there was going to be a criminal charge on foot of their actions, we might eliminate 50 or 60 per cent before they started at all.

After his contribution, the Senator received a hearty round of applause from his colleagues:

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Thanks to Oireachtas Retort for uploading the video.

Read: These stories of domestic abuse are prompting calls for a change in law>

Read: Women’s Aid accepts donation from man who beat up girlfriend>

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