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Mother wants to change the system after she was almost choked and slashed with a knife

A WOMAN, who claimed she was almost choked and slashed with a knife in one terrifying incident and “beaten to a pulp” in another attack by a Kilrush man, has spoken publicly for the first time.
Sourney Linnane, who is a native of Pollagh, Ballinderreen, has waived her anonymity to launch a campaign to dramatically improve the statutory rights and state support services for anyone suffering from all forms of physical and psychological abuse.
The mother-of-three has requested interim Justice Minister Heather Humphreys to introduce a statutory right for any victim of coercive control, domestic abuse, rape or any form of serious physical and mental abuse to be told about the official release date of their convicted perpetrator from prison.
Martin Mulqueen (53), Ballynote, Kilrush, but with an address in Bawn Street, Strokestown, County Roscommon, was the third person to be jailed for coercive control in Ireland recently.
Mulqueen pleaded guilty during this trial to three sample charges, including coercive control, assault, and assault causing harm on dates between March and October 2019.
Last March, he received a combined sentence of 54 months, with the final 20 months suspended for four years. The sentence was backdated to the time he went into custody.
Ms Linnane is extremely distressed and worried, having received conflicting dates concerning her former partner’s release from prison.
In an exclusive interview with The Clare Champion, Ms Linnane said she has been told that the Kilrush man is due to be released in March 2022, but could be out next September.
Following extensive inquiries, she received correspondence from the Irish Prison Service informing her the father-of-four’s “three year and six month sentence is subject to 25% remission and that means his expected date of release is 3 June 2022”.
“When I spoke to a Garda, he told me he wished he could tell me his release date, but he couldn’t. If I am dead my family will know he is released, If I am alive I will not be officially told when he is being released. I can’t understand why. I would just like to know when he is out.
“When Martin comes out, I will be living in fear. I know he will try and come back to me because he said it will be you and me.
“This is not about Martin Mulqueen. I am not doing this to get at Martin. I love him, but I have to draw a line now.
“There was a good side to him and we had some good times together. I have got great support from the Gardaí who were amazing. I just want the change the system. If I take a barring order out against him, he will know where I live and he can come back into me life,” she said.
She previously got a barring order prohibiting Mr Mulqueen from visiting her at Bawn Street, Roscommon, but this order is non-transferable and is now useless, having moved to another part of the West of Ireland.
She believes a barring order should be attached to any person who has suffered abuse and should not be tied to a particular address.
Before the trial, she couldn’t understand why she had to hand over all her medical records to the accused, but she was told that she couldn’t apply for his medical files and would like this changed.
She believes anyone suffering abuse should be provided with comprehensive supports such as counselling by the government and shouldn’t be forced to rely on voluntary organisations for help and assistance.
She described her former partner as a “Jekyll and Hyde” character.
“Martin just took over. Initially life was lovely. He made me feel special. He was amazing. He came into my life, he got on very well with my family. He did everything, I couldn’t even make a cup of tea.
“I was made redundant in my own home. He was brilliant at the start. He looked after me.”
However, there was also a darker side to him due to alleged alcohol abuse.
On October 15, 2019, she recalled Mr Mulqueen was drinking getting his jobseeker’s allowance, attacked her and “beat me to a pulp”.
“Martin hit me everywhere with his fist, apart from my face because I covered my face with my hands. I remembered if I covered my face I wouldn’t have a black eye or a busted lip like I had in July. I had grey jacket hanging on the back of the kitchen door and he kept choking me with the sleeve.
“He took my left hand and sliced it with the bread knife.”

A spokesman for the Department of Justice outlined tackling domestic abuse is a top priority for the Minister for Justice and she believes it is particularly important that the experiences of victims are listened to and taken on board.


The Department of Justice is fully committed to combatting this type of violence and to ensuring that anyone who is a victim of this type of abuse is empowered and supported to seek help, confident that there are robust systems in place to bring perpetrators to account.


Minister Humphreys and Minister Naughton are focussed on the implementation of Supporting a Victims Journey, launched last October by Minister McEntee, which will create a victim-centred system that supports and empowers victims and gives them the confidence to engage with all services knowing they will be supported, informed and treated with respect and dignity at every point and by every person they come into contact with.

The supports being introduced will be provided regardless of whether or not criminal proceedings are in train and will extend beyond the trial and verdict because victims do not stop needing support at the end of a trial.

The department spokesman stressed recent recent convictions conveys the message that perpetrators of coercive control can’t act with impunity and praised the bravery of victims in these cases.



If you have been affected by the issues raised in any of the above articles, below are details of organisations that offer advice and support.

Safe Ireland – www.safeireland.ie
Women’s Aid – www.womensaid.ie – 1800 341 900
Clare Haven Services – www.clarehaven.ie – 065 6822435
Safe Link – www.roscommonsafelink.ie – 071 9664200

By Dan Danaher

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