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22nd Jun 2024

Protests planned across Ireland in solidarity with woman whose attacker got suspended sentence

Stephen Porzio

Protests are taking place in Cork, Dublin, Galway and Limerick.

Several protests are taking place across Ireland today (22 June) in solidarity with Natasha O’Brien (24), who was left unconscious after an attack in 2022.

Earlier this week, Irish solider Cathal Crotty (22) received a a three-year suspended sentence at Limerick Circuit Court after pleading guilty to the assault of Ms O’Brien.

There has been major uproar over the decision, with Ms O’Brien telling reporters after sentencing: “I don’t feel there was justice.”

Charity Women’s Aid also stated that the sentencing “calls into question whether Ireland is serious about zero tolerance of violence against women”.

The charity wrote on Twitter: “Cathal Crotty bragged on social media after brutally beating Natasha O’Brien unconscious.

“This horrendous case calls into question whether Ireland is serious about zero tolerance of violence against women.

“Cathal Crotty, the perpetrator of brutal violence was described as ‘polite’ and ‘professional’ in court. Yet the violence, lying to attempt to blame Natasha and the bragging on social media paints a difference picture. The circle doesn’t square.”

In the wake of the sentencing, protests in solidarity with Ms O’Brien are set to take place in Cork, Dublin, Galway and Limerick on Saturday afternoon.

Feminist activist group Rosa – who arranged the Cork, Dublin and Limerick protests – wrote in a social media post:

“Natasha exemplified how any person should behave when she asked a man on the street she didn’t know, to cease making homophobic slurs. She was brutally and violently assaulted by this man, a trained soldier in the Irish defence forces.

“He received a suspended sentence and concerns for his career from a judge while Natasha pays with longstanding health challenges as she receives an insult from the ‘justice’ system.

“Stop this misogyny! Enough! Stand out in solidarity with Natasha and all survivors of men’s violence against women and queer people this Saturday.”

You can see the location and times of the protests, right here:

  • Cork: 12pm, Grand Parade
  • Dublin: 1pm, The Spire
  • Galway: 2pm, Eyre Square
  • Limerick: 3pm, Bedford Row

Main image via Twitter/TonightVMTV

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