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Impunity and violence against women in Ireland

Gearóid Ó Loingsigh

21 June 2024

Natasha O'Brien was assaulted by serving Irish soldier Cathal Crotty.

People were shocked when Cathal Crotty, an Irish army private who had pleaded guilty to viciously assaulting Natasha O’Brien in Limerick, received a three year fully suspended sentence.  The judge justified the non-custodial sentence for the violent assault on the grounds that Private Crotty would lose his job in the Irish army were that to happen, ignoring that due to the trauma of the assault Natasha O’Brien lost her job.  Though the loss of employment is not the only issue with the outrageous decision.

Following the attack Crotty boasted on social media that it took two punches to knock her down and two more to knock her out, though it would seem he may have hit her on the ground more than twice as the victim feared at one point that he would not stop.  He received a reference from the Irish army as an exemplary soldier as part of his plea.  The soldier may lose his job in any case.(1)

There are a number of things that arise from the case.  It once again, clearly shows the attitude of the Irish judiciary towards women.  The sentence may be appealed now due to public outcry.  However, whilst with “a circuit court case, the DPP can ask the Court of Criminal Appeal to review a sentence which she thinks is “unduly lenient.  The appeal court can only increase the sentence if it finds the trial judge was wrong in law in giving such a light sentence.”(2)  The judge may not have made an error in law so this may not be the case and the sentence may stand.

The role of the judiciary extends beyond simple misogyny. They are infamous for covering up crimes by the Gardaí and state forces generally, as well as the endemic corruption in state bodies.  It does not seem to have occurred to the judge that anyone beating up women should be automatically excluded from Army service.

So far conservatives have said nothing.  They don’t defend women.

The racists who loudly complain any time a migrant or Irish child of a migrant is involved in violence against women, have remained silent.  It would seem that it is ok if the offender is Irish.  They don’t defend women either.

A subdivision of this group, which includes a number of self-proclaimed feminists, is the “unvetted males” brigade.  Again, the Irish nationality of both the victim and the assailant will not be raised, nor will his vetted or unvetted status.  They don’t defend women either.
Lastly there are Irish leftists.  They remain perfectly happy that a conservative Christian teacher is indefinitely detained on the basis of refusing to recant his gender-critical views. They ignore the ways in which trans groups deny women’s rights.

Paul Murphy and other PbP T.Ds have expressed their outrage on twitter at the court’s decision and called for a rally at the Spire in Dublin to protest it.(3)  Bríd Smith stated that “Violence against women will not be wiped out with this response from the courts.”(4) There is no doubt that they are sincere in this.  However, they defend to the hilt the right of violent trans identified males, held in Limerick prison to serve out their time in the women’s wing and that of one prisoner who following release from the women’s wing was arrested again and housed on remand in the Dóchas Unit having violently assaulted a woman in a woman’s hostel where he was staying.  On that occasion they did not organise protests in solidarity with the victim or against the decision to house him with women.  They don’t defend women either.


(1)  Irish Times (21/06/2024) Defence Forces being disciplinary procedures against soldier convicted for Limerick Assault. Arthur Beesley.

(2)  Ibíd.,

(3)  See

(4)  See

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