Dungarvan stands in solidarity with Natasha O'Brien

Dungarvan stands in solidarity with Natasha O'Brien
Protests in solidarity with Natasha O’Brien after her attacker Cathal Crotty received a suspended sentence took place across Ireland this weekend - including in Dungarvan.

Ms O’Brien was attacked on O'Connell Street in Limerick on May 29th, 2022 by serving soldier Cathal Crotty – who received a suspended sentence this week.

A solidarity march was held in Dungarvan's Walton Park on Sunday, having been organised by Conor McGuinness and Monica Murphy.
A number of speakers spoke to a 100-strong crowd, all of whom voiced their determination to bring about change and to start conversations surrounding gender-based violence.
Lynn Glasscoe, who has been campaigning for women's rights for a number of years, says it's horrendous that Irish society has seen next to no change in the best part of half a century.
"I was exasperated that 50 years later, I'm still having very similar discussions to what I had 50 years ago. 50 years ago, there was a greater acceptance of misogyny in society. Now, we are at a stage where we can be inclusive.I think that we have a problem with our mindset for violence. I read recently that violent words get you used to the idea of violent action. There is an explosion of violent words, whether it's on social media, people in their own WhatsApp groups or whatever - and I think we have to look at that."
Organiser Conor McGuinness said it was important for Dungarvan to come together and make a stand.
"Nobody is shocked or surprised about what has happened and us having to gather here - but everybody is so angry and hurt and outraged about it. As one person said to me at the protest here, they're too old for this crap. They've been protesting it for so long. Yet it still remains that violence against women and girls just isn't taken as seriously as it needs to be. Unfortunately, sentencing is a very clear example of that. It shows it up from time to time - but that's only the tip of the iceberg. The cases that come before the courts and a conviction is secured is only the tip of the iceberg. How many other cases of assault, of domestic violence of sexual assault don't come before the courts?".
Cllr. McGuinness says men need to be open to the idea of having uncomfortable conversations.
"We never hear about it because they're dismissed as, oh, well, he said, she said, or because they're dismissed as, quote unquote, just a domestic. We need to, as a society, as a country, as a political system, have a very serious conversation about, are we failing girls and women? Are we failing to combat violence? I think as a man, that men need to be talking to other men in our clubs, in our schools, in our colleges, in our workplaces, in our families. We need to challenge misogynistic attitudes."
Monica Murphy and Fiona Regan both ran unsuccessfully in the recent Local Elections. Just five of the 32-strong complement of councillors in Waterford are women. They spoke of the need for better representation for women on a political level.
"Women have had enough", said Monica Murphy. "Reading that story during the week and just being so angry and then going between that and just thinking it's hopeless, there's no point in even trying anything because it's never going to change - then getting angry again and realising we have to use that anger to do something like today's solidarity protest and get as many people involved as we possibly can and to let the government and the judges know that this is not acceptable, not now and not ever."
We need women on the council here representing Dungarvan. We have absolutely no women, six councillors, none are women", acknowledged Fiona Regan. "Across the county, it's minimal. It really just needs to change. I was disheartened that there were three women candidates here in Dungarvan, none of us got voted in. I just think that next time around, we definitely need more women. We need women's representation, women's voices, women fighting for women and women fighting for everybody."
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