Shauna Kavanagh was convicted on Friday after attacking a woman at a homeless shelter
Protesters held a demonstration outside Dochas Women’s Prison in Dublin on Saturday against a transgender inmate who attacked a woman at a homeless shelter.
Shauna Kavanagh was convicted on Friday after pleading guilty to assault causing harm to the woman at Novas Centre on Rathmines Road, Dublin in April last year.
Dublin District Court heard the 35-year-old hairdresser set upon the victim during a confrontation in the kitchen when the woman accused her of stealing an Easter egg.
Kavanagh also sat on the woman and repeatedly punched her in the head in the assault, leaving her “terrified."
Judge Michele Finan gave the accused a three-month suspended sentence.
The court heard Kavanagh had 15 previous convictions including several for assault, as well as criminal damage and theft.
Kavanagh was previously detained at Limerick Women’s Prison before going into custody at Mountjoy’s Dochas Centre.
Women’s Space Ireland founder Jill Nesbitt said Kavanagh residing at the Dochas was in breach of UN regulations, quoting Rule 11 of the UN Mandela Rules which states that “men and women shall so far as possible be detained in separate institutions”.
“Putting men in women’s jails is one area which the Taoiseach would probably agree hasn’t worked well,” she told the Irish Mirror.
“He said he doesn’t believe violent males should be kept in women’s jails.
“Yesterday (Friday) we saw yet again that the safety and well-being of vulnerable women – homeless women and women prisoners – have been neglected in order to facilitate men who identify as women.
“We haven’t heard one word yet from Government about how the rights and needs of women are to be protected.”
Defence solicitor John Shanley told Dublin District Court last week that Kavanagh had “another version of events” but pleaded guilty to the charge and accepted she should not have acted in the manner she did.
Kavanagh was very young when her mother was killed, Mr Shanley said. The accused later became homeless.
She did courses in hairdressing, makeup and personal training and got full time work but never had stable accommodation until recently.
She was “doing extremely well” before she went into custody in Mountjoy's Dochas Centre.
The court heard the accused had also completed an anger management course in custody.