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Late Late Show

Majella Moynihan: I was told I had demoralised the Guards, and I believed it

“That sworn inquiry was the most horrific abuse that could ever be inflicted on any human being,” Majella Moynihan told the Late Late Show.

The Late Late Show / YouTube

MAJELLA MOYNIHAN GAVE a heartfelt interview on last night’s Late Late Show in which she described the harrowing experience of being interrogated by Gardaí over her sex life after she became pregnant as a 22-year-old garda recruit in the 1980s.

Last June, Majella Moynihan first told her story to RTÉ, resulting in a full apology from the Justice Minister and Garda Commissioner for how the force treated her for being pregnant outside of wedlock.

She said she was interrogated by Gardaí and faced possible disciplinary action and dismissal, for having premarital sex with another garda recruit. She said that as a result of this, she felt pressured into giving her baby up for adoption.

Speaking on the RTÉ Late Late Show last night, the former garda said that from a young age, she saw An Garda Síochána as an organisation that had “so much empathy and compassion” for others, which is what drew her to it.

Her mother had died when Majella was just a year-and-a-half old in a hit-and-run incident, which also played a role in her wanting to join the Gardaí. She wanted to help vulnerable people – children and women in particular, she said.

When she found out that she was pregnant, she told a senior female garda, who told her that she had “demoralised the guards”.

I believed that I had demoralised the Guards at that stage.

She said that a number of interviews ensued with senior male members of An Garda Síochána where she was asked questions about what she intended to do next.

When her baby was born, she could visit him for a number of weeks afterwards, but didn’t get to hold him.

A few months after that the Gardaí initiated disciplinary proceedings against her for having premarital sex with another garda recruit, and for giving birth out of wedlock.

She said that she was “petrified” and “traumatised” and was in “no fit state” to sign adoption papers for her son, David, whom she has met as an adult. 

She was later called to give evidence in an inquiry against the father of her child, which she described as like being “crucified”. He was fined £90.

“That sworn inquiry was the most horrific abuse that could ever be inflicted on any human being,” she said, adding that they asked about her private life and her past sexual experiences. “They just made me out to be such a slut.”

That young girl was so vulnerable and all I needed was for somebody to ask me, ‘What’s it like for you Majella?’

Majella Moynihan’s book ‘A Guarded Life’ is on sale now

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