The script of Fionnuala Moran’s spoken word piece from the #IBelieveHer rally in Dublin on the 31st of March is below. The protest erupted in response to the verdict of the Belfast rape trial and more broadly to seek change to a justice system that systematically shafts survivors of sexual assault.

Hello, I’m Fionnuala Moran and excuse how nasal I’m going to be today, I’ve been too angry to sleep this week so now I’m really sick.

To give context to the words I’m about to say, the jury’s result led me to, very much accidentally, go public with my own story.

A tweet I posted which subsequently went viral read:

I was her.

When I was 16 another rugby prick whose privilege knows no bounds took my virginity unconscious.

Then threatened me in to silence with his solicitor dad when I told the truth.

This is being a woman in Ireland.


So Paddy, we know you’re watching, and “You’re so vain I bet you think this march is about you, don’t you?”

But it’s bigger than you, it’s all of us, every victim.


So without further a do…


Heard the verdict of the jury, wept over a system inept.

That fit of fury led me to tell my boyfriend and family what happened to me

And that set me free.

See 16-year-old Fi wasn’t to know this isn’t the way things have to be.

Getting threatened sadistically by my attacker after he

Was rejected by local lasses who heard the fuss, knew the suss

And as a result denied him their puss.


But boys will be boys.


“Name him!” Cried my new found Twitter trolls

But why in a system that is in the process of proving

It’s more important to allow perpetrators keep their “good character” intact

Than a victim receive any justice for the most dehumanising attack?


Can you defame a self-decimated character?

Lacerations regardless of incarcerations sent vibrations of disgust across the nation

But you have the audacity to cry defamation?!

The privilege is white but humour is black, in paint and in spirit.

If you’re repulsed let me HEAR IT!


But boys will be boys.


“No HPV vaccine for yee!”

“You who’ve had sex already.”

So nine years later when my first cervical smear

Wasn’t all clear who do I fear is to blame for this potential cancer

THAT fucking chancer?!


But boys will be boys eh?

Boys will only be boys as long society allows them to treat women like toys.


Common sense verdict say he…?!

We’re taught An Triail as Irish history

but that shit’s present tense to me!

The closest thing to sex ed we see.

“Tá sí saor. Tá sí saor anois.”

Ach níl sí saor ar bith!

‘Cause what the fuck is this?


But that’s just the way it is.


The audacity.

And then the tenacity to claim a good man’s tweets are defamatory?

When you’ve already got off scot-free?!

And that’s the epitome of white male privelege, see…


But that’s just the way it is.


Prove it says the law to me then we’ll see

But beyond reasonable doubt…!

Bile stirs at the vile whir of the fabric of lies defence barristers spin to allow the perps win.

As if living with it wasn’t insult enough you have proof

but the court system says tough…

Let’s resort to wearing body cams once we’re out of our prams.

Constant CCTV the ONLY guarantee “TOP SHAGGERS” don’t. walk. free.


But that’s just the way it is.


So tell me is the system broke?

Because it’s making a joke out of victims who spoke about the worst moments of their lives and had them trivialised

to “save the guyyyyys…”


But that’s just the way it is.


Ireland I LOVE YOU! But it’s unrequited.

Our taxes you take

But our hearts you break when we try to take our turmoil to trial,

Acts we’ve found VILE!


But that’s just the way it is.


When victims at their most vulnerable seek the services they’re owed

They’re showed a waiting list?!

Are we taking the piss?!


But that’s just the way it is.


And the irony at the un-Christ like lack of empathy Catholic guilt bet into to women like me

Looong before we could see

The church is the most successful tax free business in the world trading throughout HISTORY

On our bodily AUTONOMY.

Handmaiden’s Tale extras we did not agree to be!


But that’s just the way it is… Nah!

But that’s just the way it isn’t, because we’re here and no longer fear the jeer of a ‘lad banter’ poisoned peer.


And I’m sorry.

To every innocent man I’ve ever incriminated looking over my shoulder,

When the nights got a bit colder,

The evening light a bit lower and I walked a bit bolder to say

“I see you! And will put my key through you if I have to!”


The fault does not lay with me!



“Darling lovely, that only happens in the lawless suburbs not our leafy ones!”

Where you have funds to silence the unfortunate huns that cross paths of your privileged sons.


The fault does not lay with me!


Ladies, blind to your misogyny,

questioning the victims modesty?!

how privileged you are to be… ignorant,

To the fact it could at any stage be you or me helplessly having to give testimony.


The fault does not lay with me!


Consent is not Mrs Doyle pestering the parish priests to consume another cup of tea

“Ah g’wan, g’wan, g’wan!”

“Ah y’will, y’will, y’will!”

“Ah do it for me?”

“But I’ve got it ready!”


The fault does not lay with me but me but with he!


Consent is conscious.

Consent is enthusiastic.

Consent is freely offered.

Consent is never assumed.

And consent can be revoked at any moment.

But if you disagree feel free to sort yourself out for the rest of eternity.


The only “Asking for it” anyone can do is enthusiastic consent,

Anything less and we wish it was to prison you went.


This is not the latest feminist fodder for Twitter trolls to trivialise, these are our lives!


We inhabit a society complicit with protecting the perpetrators that cause the pain unconsenting penetration produces.

Share your stories if it serves you and it is safe to do so.

Share your stories if you think the support will outweigh the slut-shaming.

Share your stories if it will revoke the power the rapist has on you long after your physical ordeal is over.

Share your story if you think being heard will extinguish the mental anguish a society that tells you to “Shut up!” causes you to suffer.

For the amount of people who’ve said to me,

“You’re the exception! Not who I’d expect to see…”

What? Because I’m doing well despite what he did to me?!

I’m the reality.

Who do you expect to see and why isn’t your faceless average rape victim not me, or he, or she? 


May they fear the fury you feel today

and QUAKE in their boots,

Whatever pitch, office or alleyway they prowl.


And the next time someone DARES utter

“She a liar.”

“She loved it.”

“She’s a fame seeking slut!”

Tell them THIS is 2018