Couple convicted of FGM - Ireland


29th November, 2019

In Ireland, a court jury has found a married couple guilty of carrying out Female Genital Mutilation on their one- year old daughter. This is a ground-breaking judicial decision for the Ireland and for ending Female Genital Mutilation in Europe.

A jury has found a married couple guilty of the female genital mutilation (FGM) of their daughter. The man (37) and woman (27) pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to one count of carrying out an act of FGM on a then one-year-old girl at an address in Dublin on September 16th, 2016.

According to Fiona Coyle, Director of the End FGM European Network:

“This court decision is significant as it shows once more that FGM is happening in Europe. However, the law alone will not end FGM. To truly protect girls and women at risk we need a holistic prevention focused approach. Within this the engagement of key communities is crucial. Social norms and traditions that fuel FGM can only be effectively tackled with support from communities themselves. We hope that this case will raise awareness of FGM and galvanise the necessary focus and resources to end it”.

For AkiDwA, a member of the End FGM European Network and an organisation which has been working on the issue of FGM in Ireland since 2001, this court decision is a step in the right direction:

“The conviction by an Irish court yesterday has sent a very strong message to anyone who might be planning to subject their daughter(s) to FGM in Ireland. This conviction has set a precedent that Ireland does not condone the practice of FGM. AkiDwA’s advocacy efforts over the last two decades have manly focused on prevention and eliminating FGM globally. The hidden nature and the fact that it involves women and girls private body parts make it very hard to detect and control. AkiDwA has and will continue to advocate and engaged with affected communities as well as raise awareness at all levels of the society.”

The founder of AkiDwA, Salome Mbugua, said:

“Government led National Acton Plan and inter agency working group is highly needed in Ireland to ensure effective coordination and monitoring”. According to the current statistics on prevalence of FGM Ireland, there are almost 6,000 women subjected to FGM, and according to the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) around 16,000 thousand girls in Ireland are at risk of FGM.”


How to talk about or report on FGM?

FGM is a sensitive topic and needs to be reported as such. For more information on How to talk about FGM click here.

For further information please contact the End FGM European Network Communications Officer Ophélie Masson on - Phone: +32 489 97 31 02