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National Women’s Council commends bravery of Dr. Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin in speaking out

Published: Saturday, September 05, 2020

The National Women’s Council (NWC) today commended the courage and bravery of Dr Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin in speaking out about her experience of sexual harassment at University College Dublin (UCD). 

Her experience clearly highlights the need for all third level institutes to take sexual harassment and violence on campus seriously and develop a holistic approach that covers both staff and students. 

Orla O’Connor, Director of NWC said,

“We commend Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin’s courage and bravery in speaking out about her experience of sexual harassment by a Professor in UCD. Her testimony puts a spotlight on the shortcomings that still remain not only in UCD but across the sector of third level institutes in dealing with disclosures of sexual harassment and violence by staff.

Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin’s experience shows the deep and significant impact sexual harassment has on every aspect of a person’s life. It highlights how this trauma can be compounded by the response from an institution that does not fully recognise the seriousness of the issue and its responsibility to offer adequate protection to the victim.” 

She continued,

“We now need to see urgent action by all third level institutes to ensure both staff and students can be safe on campus. Where an incident occurs, we crucially need to have in place clear policies and procedures that follow best practice in this area and ensure the victim is supported and protected at all times. While progress has been made in many universities and colleges in this regard in relation to students, we now need a comprehensive approach that encompasses all staff and is recognised and reinforced through the governance structures of the institutions. We call on all third level institutes to prioritise the full implementation of the 'National Framework’ on sexual harassment and violence for higher and further education.”

The National Women’s Council continues to work with third level institutes across Ireland and the Minister for Higher Education, Simon Harris, to tackle sexual harassment and violence on campus through convening the National Advisory Committee and running the national #ItStopsNow campaign. 


For more information, please contact Silke Paasche, Head of Communications, National Women’s Council, Tel. 085 858 9104.