Irish Attorney General Could Bring Genocide Charges Says Senior Counsel

Read Our Letter to Attorney General

19th March, 2017 - Irish First Mothers has received senior counsel's advice that our group's March 5th letter to the Irish Attorney General seeking to bring prosecutions under the Irish Genocide Act of 1973 is well founded and an arguable case in law

Below we release four questions we posed relating to women's mass internment without trial in so-called "Mother and Baby Homes" and the answers by our senior counsel:

Question: Is the Irish Attorney General the responsible party for domestic Irish genocide prosecutions?

Senior Counsel: "Yes."

Question: Is our position arguable that "religious group" status within genocide law attaches to us? 

SC: "Yes."

Question: Is genocide law applicable in respect of the mass treatment of Irish unmarried mothers?
SC: "You make a case. Like the US Supreme Court did [with privacy law] in Roe v Wade, you are stretching existing genocide law to cover a real need."
Question: Are top-down genocide prosecutions legally preferable to ad hoc criminal ones?

SC: "The strategy makes sense."

We now request TD's to pose the following Dail Question:

Will the Attorney General take under consideration the question of prosecutions under the Genocide Act of 1973, as requested by the Irish First Mothers group in their 5th March 2017 communication to the AG office; and if not, why?

If prosecutions were deemed appropriate, the Attorney General could pursue charges for failure to prevent genocide, for conspiracy, for incitement and for the crime of genocide itself. But Irish First Mothers have identified no culpable parties and we leave such matters to the judgement of the Attorney General's office.

In our letter to the Attorney General, on 5th March 2017 we claimed the protection of Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide adopted by the U. N. General Assembly  – and we demanded justice under the provisions of Ireland's 1973 enactment of that Convention.


We were subjected to religiously motivated, grossly criminal acts which meet the following criteria described under Section 2 of the Convention:

2(b): Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group.
2(e): Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

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