Parents Convicted in First Female Genital Mutilation Case in Ireland

FGM sign

An African couple in Dublin has been convicted of having female genital mutilation (FGM) performed on their 21-month-old daughter, in the first such case in the Republic of Ireland.

A man and wife of African origin have been jailed after they “aided and abetted, counselled or procured” someone to perform female genital mutilation upon their 21-month-old daughter. The man has been sentenced to five-and-a-half years and his wife will serve a term of four years and nine months.

The couple, who will remain unnamed to protect the identity of the child, pleaded not guilty to procuring FGM, claiming in the trial that their daughter had suffered the injury as a result of falling onto a toy while not wearing a diaper, according to RTE.

Their version of events was disputed health professionals in the trial who argued that it was clearly a case of female genital mutilation. Sri Paran, the paediatric surgeon who performed surgery on the girl to stop the bleeding, said that the injury was not accidental.

Sentencing the African couple, Judge Elma Sheahan said that the child suffered an “appalling act of cruelty” in the “most egregious breach of trust by those presumed to be the protectors of their infant child”.

The practise of FGM, in which the cutting or removing of female sex organs is performed on girls, is common within the cultures of some African nations and Muslim-majority countries, where it is used as a preventative measure against women having sex before marriage.

The barbaric procedure not only impacts victims physically but can also lead to long-lasting mental health issues later in life.

Female genital mutilation was first criminalised in the Republic of Ireland in 2012 and carries a maximum sentence of 14 years, however, no one has been jailed for the offence until now.

Detective Chief Superintendent Declan Daly said that the couple’s sentencing sends a strong and important message that Female Genital Mutilation will not be tolerated in the country. He said: “It is a heinous and barbaric practice which is a criminal offence in Ireland.”

In October, Breitbart London reported that as many as 6,000 women and girls have had their genitals mutilated in Ireland, with another 3,000 currently at risk of having the gruesome procedure inflicted upon them.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that over 200 million women and girls have been subjected to FGM and every year three million girls are in danger of having their genitals cut.

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