- Expected Sep 3, 2020
A GARDA, A FORCED ADOPTION, A FIGHT FOR JUSTICE
In 1984, 22-year-old Majella Moynihan was a fresh-faced garda recruit when she gave birth to a baby boy. Charged with breaching An Garda Síochana's disciplinary rules - for having premarital sex with another guard, becoming pregnant, and having a child - she was pressured to give up her baby for adoption, or face dismissal. It was an experience that would have devastating impacts on her life.
In her memoir, Majella tells her story: from an institutional childhood after she lost her mother as a baby, to realising her vocation of becoming a guard only to confront the reality of a police culture steeped in misogyny and prejudice.
Majella left the force in 1998 and, in 2019, after an RTÉ documentary on her case, she received an apology from the Garda Commissioner and Minister for Justice for the ordeal she endured as a young garda in the 1980s. But up until now, her full story has never been told.
A Guarded Life is both a courageous personal account of hope and resilience in the darkest times, and a striking reflection on womanhood, birth and autonomy in modern Ireland.