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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 24 April, 2019

'Deplorable and revolting' treatment of deceased activist Dara Quigley is raised in the Dáil

A video of Dara Quigley’s arrest by gardaí was put online in the days before her death.

Dara Quigley died on 12 April.
Dara Quigley died on 12 April.
Image: Facebook

THE TREATMENT OF Dara Quigley has been described as “deplorable and revolting” by Sinn Féin TD Mary Lou McDonald.

The journalist and activist died by suicide on 12 April, a number of days after she was arrested in Dublin under the Mental Health Act.

She had been walking naked on a Dublin street and CCTV footage of her arrest was uploaded to WhatsApp and subsequently to Facebook where it was viewed over 100,000 times.

She took her own life a number of days later.

An investigation by the Garda Ombudsman is looking into the conduct of gardaí in relation to this woman before her death.

It’s believed that an officer has been suspended with full pay in connection with the case.

As well as being known as a journalist, Dara Quigley was a prominent anti-water charge and anti-austerity activist.

Speaking in the Dáil today, Deputy McDonald said what happened to Ms Quigley was an example of a “culture of humiliation”.


“I would like you to shed some light on the case of Dara Quigley, a young woman who died by suicide on 12 April,” McDonald said.

“She had been detained by gardaí some days previously under the Mental Health Act. She had been walking naked in a Dublin street when she was detained and garda CCTV footage of this detention was posted on Facebook.”

A really deplorable and revolting turn of events and something that has brought great hardship to her family and has brought very great distress to Dara. So we mark her passing and when we talk about garda culture and reform and accountability, I suppose this is the rawest end, the sharpest end of a deplorable culture of humiliation and disregard for human beings.

McDonald concluded by asking Tánaiste and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald whether anyone would be held accountable in the case.

“Everyone would be totally disturbed and appalled by the story that has been reported in the media,” Fitzgerald responded.

And actions are following on from that, as you know that has been reported. There is an investigation and a GSOC inquiry, but just to say of course our thoughts are with that young woman’s family given the appalling and very, very sad sequence of events.


In a statement released to The Irish Times, the deceased woman’s family said she had “an enduring commitment to creating a fairer society.”

The family also said that Ms Quigley struggled with addiction and mental health issues, adding that the release of the video was “egregious and deeply hurtful”.

If you need to talk, contact:

  • Pieta House 1800 247 247 or email (suicide, self-harm)
  • Samaritans 116 123 or email
  • Aware 1800 80 48 48 (depression, anxiety)
  • Teen-Line Ireland 1800 833 634 (for ages 13 to 19)
  • Childline 1800 66 66 66 (for under 18s)

Read: Garda allegedly shared video of woman’s arrest on WhatsApp days before she took her own life >

Read: Pressure mounts on Garda Commissioner after new dossier claims O’Sullivan misled PAC >

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About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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